John Elliott


North East business boss John Elliott MBE DL is launching a campaign – called Stop Gap – to convince political leaders to put greater emphasis on manufacturing the goods we consume in the UK and overseas.

John, chairman of Newton Aycliffe based Ebac, believes the UK trade deficit – the difference between what we buy and what we sell – is the best indicator that our wellbeing as a nation is at risk, yet the Government, opposition and political commentators have their eyes off the issue.

He said: “We’re buying more than we sell. We’re consuming more than we produce. If we don’t make changes we’ll end up like Greece.”

The total trade deficit rose to a monthly figure of £1.76bn this year. John argues that only by placing manufacturing back at the heart of the economy can this be reversed.

“We don’t need to do anything clever, simply invest in factories that can make the things we all buy, like we used to do twenty years ago. Buying goods from China may give us cheap goods today but is disastrous in the long term,” said John.

With the goal of influencing the political agenda to encourage the re-positioning of manufacturing at the heart of the UK economy, John has launched the Stop Gap campaign and is encouraging other manufacturers to add their voice to the debate.

A new website has been launched at

John hopes Stop Gap will be as successful as previous campaigns he has fronted. 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 he was a regional chairman of Business for Sterling the pro-pound business organisation.

John said: “Having run a manufacturing business for 40 years, like most businessmen, my eye is firmly on the economy – why we are where we are, what has caused the current economic turmoil and what the future holds.

“I firmly believe the Government, Opposition and media have their eye off the real problem, while focussing in minute detail on such things as GDP and the level of VAT.

“The trade deficit is all but brushed under the carpet, when it offers one of the greatest opportunities to boost the UK economy.

“The answer is simple. We have stopped making the basic goods we need and we have to start doing that again. We have factories sitting dormant in the UK which can be revitalised, and with the creation of around 200,000 jobs across the country, manufacturing items such as shirts or white goods, this economy can get back into better shape.”

People interested in getting involved with Mr Elliott can contact Ebac at 01388 605061.

CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436


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