Multi-millionaire businessman John Elliott MBE, TV’s first ‘Secret Millionaire’, has announced he is to give his company, Ebac Ltd, to a special foundation ensuring it remains manufacturing in the North East.
The objective will be to create a new factory for the North East in the next three years, doubling Ebac’s current 200 employee workforce and maintaining manufacturing employment to be kept locally.
Ebac which was originally stationed in Bishop Auckland moved two years ago to the old Schott glass plant on Aycliffe Industrial Park. The company currently employs 200 people in the North East of England.
Founded by Mr Elliott in 1972, the company has become renowned over the years for making water coolers and dehumidifiers
Mr Elliot plans to leave his company to the community rather than to his family.
He said: “In the last 40 years I have been well paid doing what I think is the best job in the world.
“Now is the right time to put an end to my status as a ‘Rich List’ millionaire and create a lasting foundation to secure the future of Ebac’s manufacturing facilities for generations to come.”
The three trustees that have been put in charge of overseeing the company from now on are John Elliott, Cliff Laverick and Paul Elliott. The trustees are charged with using the profits to make the business stronger in the North East and also, to use any surpluses to support good causes in local communities.
Mr Elliott said the structure will ensure that the business will not be sold for personal profit.
For the past two decades the company has continued to expand its UK operations, resisting the temptation to relocate its manufacturing base abroad despite maintaining a strong export focus, with 70% of its turnover coming from Europe.
In December 2006 Mr Elliot was the first to appear on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire television programme. Mr Elliot moved to Liverpool to where he found someone whose life he could change for the better with a 50,000 cash gift.