John Elliott MBE
From: National Manufacturing Debate 2013, Cranfield University.
21st May 2013
21 May 2013 Manufacturing channel
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John Elliott, Founder and Chairman of Ebac
The National Manufacturing Debate is an annual event hosted by Cranfield University. The event brings together manufacturing professionals from a range of sectors to discuss and debate current challenges in the industry, and encourage networking and collaboration across the sector to enable continued and long-term growth. Now into its fourth successful year, this FREE event will take place over two days, 20 and 21 May 2013.
The UK will drop from its current ranking as 15th most competitive manufacturing nation to 19th over in five years' time, and will be increasingly challenged to maintain a competitive edge by emerging nations such as Brazil and India, according to the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte. This timely event will therefore examine whether the UK really needs a manufacturing strategy, what such a strategy should include and who should deliver it.
John Elliott MBE, founder and chairman of international business Ebac, based in the North East, is an unconventional business character.
In 2012, after considering the options for the succession planning of Ebac, he rejected the two most common options, sale or passing the business onto his family. Instead, he formed the Ebac Foundation, which would ensure the business could not be bought or sold, and that manufacturing could not be taken out of the County Durham area.
The company has turnover of around £15m and profits of £2.5m, manufacturing dehumidifiers, water coolers and air source heat pumps. The company is now beginning work on establishing the UK's only washing machine manufacturing facility, a £7m project which will see employment double to around 400.
John has just launched a campaign to focus on the importance of the trade gap - the STOP GAP - campaign with the aim of convincing policy makers that manufacturing investment is the best way to deal with the country's economic ills.
In 2004 he led the successful campaign against a Regional Assembly in the North East and holds strong views opposed to further integration of the European Union and was a regional chairman of Business for Sterling the pro-pound business organisation.
The Elliott family is said to be worth £65 million (source: Sunday Times Rich List research 2005). The family own Ebac and a race horse business (Elliott Brothers racing) which counts a winner of the Doncaster Gold Cup, Castari, among its horses.
John is a vice president of County Durham Foundation, governor of Warwick Road Special Needs School in Bishop Auckland and was awarded the MBE in 1987 for helping small businesses in the North East of England. He is also president of West Auckland Football Club - winners of the first World Cup!