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161 – 50 years of manufacturing in the UK – John Elliott MBE, Ebac

John Elliott MBE founded Ebac nearly 50 years ago. The company has also sold 1.5 million dehumidifiers over the years and is the only manufacturer of washing machines in the UK.


John is very passionate about UK manufacturing and his thoughts on the UK Government, the supermarkets and Which? make for entertaining listening.



  • How John left school at 15 with no qualifications and set up Ebac by making a small order of dehumidifiers [01:35]

  • How he used the profits to plough back into the business to set up his own manufacturing [05:27]

  • Why more people should work in manufacturing [05:46]

  • How you need to play to your strengths when running a business [08:36]

  • John’s thoughts on the Government and how they should prioritise manufacturing [09:27]

  • John responds to the Which? reviews of Ebac products [14:55]

  • What do the Ebac customers think of their products being made in the UK? [16:55]

  • Why aren’t more companies making white goods in the UK? [18:05]

  • How leaving the EU will affect UK trade [19:50]

  • The difficulty of getting a new white goods brand introduced into the retailers and why no one makes electric kettles in the UK anymore [27:40]

  • Which other UK manufacturers John admires [31:32]

More about John Elliott and Ebac

Ebac website

Comment on this episode


  1. Nick Richardson on April 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Brilliant interview. So much good solid analysis of the issues facing the UK and the need to develop local manufacturing – especially the need for local investment and not inward investment from outside the UK.

  2. Malcolm Featherstone on April 15, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    UK manufactured electric kettle coming later this year!

  3. David Hoggett on April 19, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Thanks Kate. John was a really interesting chap to listen to. I have two EBAC dehumidifiers. I bought them as they are British made but they are also really good. The company are really helpful if there are issues (a broken handkle on the water container was soon sorted). When our washing machine goes wrong, and can’t be repaired, I know what brand I will buy next time! We had to buy a Turkish build one last time as there were no white goods made here then. Then I just made sure I avoided anything Chinese made because of their appalling human rights record and unfair trade practices (that John alludes to in the interview). Keep up the great work John and Kate!

    • Make it British Make it British on April 25, 2021 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks David.
      Really glad that you enjoyed the interview.
      I have an Ebac washing machine and so far it has been fantastic!

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