County Durham-based Ebac Group, known for its air conditioning and water cooling products is to start manufacturing washing machines in the UK.
Ebac was founded by John Elliott MBE who is now chairman and runs a campaign, Stop Gap, devoted to raising awareness of the debilitating effect Britain’s trade deficit has on its ability to economically rebalance.
The new washing machine venture from Ebac will help reduce the 4 million washing machines imported every year by the UK and will create 200 jobs in the North East.
The new facility has been made possible thanks to a successful Regional Growth Fund bid. Ebac applied for £1 million from government in order to leverage £6m of private sector investment.
Ebac’s group managing director, Pamela Petty said: “This exciting new venture is a huge boost to manufacturing in the north east of England, because it opens up new market for us, creating jobs and making County Durham home to the UK’s only washing machine manufacturing facility.
Ms Petty said that the viability of the factory and the market appetite for its products had been well researched. “We are very confident of having a high quality, competitive product on the market within the next two years,” she said.
Mr Elliott welcomed the news that Ebac had been successful in its RGF bid with words on the regeneration of manufacturing jobs in his region. “It’s good for Ebac, it’s good for the North East and it’s good for the country. During my 50 years in manufacturing, the trend has been for jobs to be lost in the North East. It is great to have this chance to bring sustainable jobs for County Durham people.”
Mr Elliott went on to say that Ebac plans to manufacture other domestic appliances in the UK once the washing machine venture is established.