John Elliott MBE

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Water Cooler Manufacturer

To book John Elliott MBE please contact your JLA Agent.


If your office has a water cooler, the chances are it was manufactured by Ebac. John’s firm also makes specialist refrigeration and air conditioning for everything from field hospitals to the London Underground. As he proved on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, John is passionate about solving problems, accepting mistakes, adding value and answering only to Joe Public.


A leading innovator in the manufacturing field, John Elliott is founder and former chairman of Ebac, who produce half the water coolers in the UK. They also supply specialised refrigeration equipment for everything from military field hospitals to the London Underground.

John built his multi-million turnover company from scratch, teaching himself engineering and building his first drying machines in his garden shed. After more than thirty years, he remains at the helm, having steadfastly refused to transfer production overseas, from his native North East.

In fact, his loyalty to his home region led him to stray into a political scrap, when he campaigned vigourously against the North East Regional Assembly. John is a well-known and respected local figure and was awarded his MBE for helping small businesses in the area. He appeared in the Channel 4 series Secret Millionaire, giving a young couple the deposit on their first house. Since stepping down as chairman, John has placed the company in trust (with his daughters in charge) and now oversees the dispersal of the profits to local community projects.

Ebac is a British success story, beating competition from around the world to secure their position as Europe’s leading watercooler manufacturer. John has spread their manufacturing base to include humidifiers, air conditioners and even a luxury spa – but always with an eye on his business roots and values.

John demonstrates the importance of innovation and the success that can be found in a specialised field. He illustrates how diversification is important; but always within the context of one’s core business.

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