John Elliott MBE DL Executive Chairman of Ebac

John Elliott MBE DL is leading Britain back into manufacturing.

We can do this, as a country we import too many 'day to day' goods. We consume more than we make and we need to reverse that situation or the British economy will never recover

For over 40 years John Elliott has championed the cause of British manufacturing. Ebac was founded in 1972 and started manufacturing dehumidifiers. Over the next 44 years, based steadfastly in Country Durham, Ebac has grown and now manufacture Dehumidifiers, Watercoolers and Washing Machines.

Through the British manufacturing decline of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Ebac worked hard to improve its design, technology, efficiency and manufacturing practices to complete with the best in the world.

Ebac dehumidifiers are the market leading brand of dehumidifiers in the UK. Over 1.25 million homes have bought a Ebac dehumidifier – that’s over 5% of all households.

We all produce excess moisture on a daily basis. That excess moisture needs to be removed from the air or it can cause damage. In winter, you can see condensation forming on windows, that’s because the excess moisture condenses on the cold window surface. A dehumidifier collects excess moisture and prevents condensation and damp problems occurring. Every home should have a dehumidifier.

The introduction of Watercoolers augmented the product lineup and Ebac was booming.

Over 80% of Ebac’s products are now exported around the world. France, Germany, Spain, USA, South Africa. Ebac is living proof that we can design world class products and manufacture them to world class standards.
Ebac factory

Watercoolers were widely used in the USA but there were no manufacturers in Europe. We spotted the opportunity to use similar technology and experience that we had from dehumidifiers and it’s been a phenomenal success. We now ship our watercoolers all over the world – we’re a net exporter. We sell more watercoolers overseas than we do in the UK.

Always keen to ‘walk the talk’ John started to investigate ways in which to preserve Ebac’s great legacy of British manufacturing. In years to come, John wanted to protect Ebac from being sold and manufacturing jobs being moved overseas. In 2012 John gifted the entity of Ebac to a foundation. The Ebac Foundation will ensure that the company cannot be sold or moved overseas and has no corporate or financial shareholders to report to. All of Ebac’s profits are now reinvested into the foundation.

After consultation with my family, I decided to take the company into a formal arrangement that meant the company couldn’t be lost for future generations. The Ebac Foundation will ensure British manufacturing continues after I have gone. The foundation will run like a business – reinvesting, taking appropriate risks and growing, but unlike a business it does not have to please institutional shareholders or investors. All of the profits are reinvested into the foundation.
Ebac Washing Machines are made in Britain

The story moves on to the 2010’s and the introduction of another new Ebac product – the Ebac washing machine. Not put off by the intense competition from global players, Ebac has designed, developed and manufactured the first domestically manufactured Washing Machine for over 40 years.

In order to compete in this market we had to design a world class washing machine, we cannot rely on the fact that we’re British to make consumers want to buy them. So we have created a first class product that consumers will love – reliable, easy to use, energy efficient with great features such as dual fill that speeds up washing cycles by 30%.
John Elliott at the Ebac Factory

Washing machines represents yet another ground breaking initiative by John and Ebac. Yet more British manufacturing, more British Jobs and hopefully another great success story.

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