A WREXHAM finance firm is brewing up a plan to take over one of the town’s most historic buildings.
Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management has signed a lease on the original Wrexham Lager brew house on the edge of Central Retail Park and will turn it into state-of-the-art finance offices.
The 25-strong team has grown out of its existing buildings on Regent Street and will move their main operation to the 4,359 square foot, Victorian red-brick building, built in around 1882 by the brewery’s German founders, in a few weeks.
It’s a proud moment for Hadlow Edwards bosses Warren Hadlow and Medwyn Edwards who are raising a toast to their new Headquarters.
They set up their family-run business 17 years ago in Wrexham and have doubled their team since they moved into their Regent Street premises in 2003.
Last year, they opened an office in London’s Mayfair and took over a Shropshire-based business. Their expansion plans are set to continue and mean they have out-grown their existing space.
Medwyn said: “The Wrexham Lager brewery is an iconic building for the town. We have been told the lager brewed there was served aboard the Titanic so the building itself is full of the most amazing history and stories and we are thrilled to be taking it over and ensuring its future as a well-preserved Wrexham architectural treasure.
“It fits the ethos of our company exactly.
“The community here has supported our business wholeheartedly and we are always keen to show our pride and commitment to the town.
“It’s a beautiful building and our investment in it will give it a new lease of life for many years to come and we are very excited about the move there.”
Joint Director Warren agreed with Medwyn and added: “When we first visited the offices, they were in much better condition than we thought and it has created a great buzz through the team to be planning our move there.
“It has lots of positives for us from a business point of view too – good parking, a prominent position and we can retain our presence in the heart of Wrexham which is important to us.
“We have a lot of local clients and so we felt taking on a well-known local building would be a good fit and represent our desire to continue investing in the community.”
Warren added: “There’s not too much work to do either but we do want to give it some TLC and bring the offices inside up-to-date.”
Wrexham lager is thought to be Britain’s oldest lager brew. It was founded in 1882 by German immigrants Ivan Levinstein and Otto Isler who wanted to recreate the lager taste that they missed from home.
The original business came close to failure when the deep cellars dug to keep the brew insulated and cold enough to mature were not cool enough to create the clear, crisp golden lager that they wanted. But a chance meeting on a train to Liverpool solved the problem when Ivan met Robert Graesser – an industrialist with a chemical works in Acrefair. He joined the company and introduced mechanical refrigeration for the cellars.
It saved the business and after a couple of hurdles, Robert took sales to a new height, particularly as it was found that the lager travelled well which opened markets far outside Wrexham.
There is evidence of it being drunk by British soldiers in 1885 at the siege of Khartoum in the Sudan.
The White Star Line, the British shipping company which operated the ill-fated Titanic, was known to serve the brew on all its liners.
The main brewery was demolished after production was halted at the site in 2000. The main brewery house remained because of its listed status. The lager is still brewed at a micro brewery in the town after former MP for Clwyd South Martyn Jones bought the rights for the beverage from Carlsberg for £1. With the help of former Head of Brewing at the old brewery Ian Dale, production began again in 2011.
Medwyn said: “It is important in our development of the building that, although we need to modernise and make it suitable for our team and clients, we do want to retain its heritage as much as possible. We will be looking for ways to ensure that the history of this great building is not lost and continues to be enjoyed by anyone coming to visit us for their financial service needs.”
Hadlow Edwards is a representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, one of the UK’s largest wealth management organisations, and they offer advice on many aspects of wealth management, to both individuals and businesses.