Entrepreneur reveals growth plans for North East firm

An entrepreneur is hoping to double her turnover to £250,000 and up staff numbers by inter-trading with a North East manufacturer

Ebac business development director Tony Hird, centre, with Water Cooler World managing director Lisa Fleming and business development manager David Symington
Ebac business development director Tony Hird, centre, with Water Cooler World managing director Lisa Fleming and business development manager David Symington

An entrepreneur is hoping to double her turnover to £250,000 and up staff numbers by inter-trading with a North East manufacturer.

Lisa Fleming is regional director for national company Water Cooler World, while her partner Wayne Fleming heads up a North East franchise they bought in August 2012.

The company, based on Aycliffe Business Park, in County Durham, now looks after more than 50 businesses from Northallerton to Newcastle, supplying water and hot drinks through bottles and machines.

The majority of Fleming’s water coolers are manufactured by fellow Aycliffe firm Ebac, which produces more than 100,000 units a year.

Fleming has now set an ambitious target of increasing turnover by 200% to £250,000 by the end of September this year.

“This is a big year for the company and we have ambitious plans,” she said. “Most of our water coolers are Ebac-produced and it’s a great demonstration of how local firms are working together and inter-trading on the business park.

“We’re already supplying water coolers and coffee machines to some firms on the park – Finley Structures being one of them – but the majority of our clients are outside the area, as far north as Newcastle and right down to Northallerton, so the plan this year is to get more local firms on the books.”

Ebac produce dehumidifiers and water coolers and have started producing chest freezers at the new factory on the former Radius Systems site, while they hope to roll out their new washing machine range later this year.

Business development director Tony Hird said: “We produce over 100,000 units a year across our entire product range and we increased our cooler sales by 35% in 2013.

“We’re the market leader for water coolers in Europe with around 30% market share. We’ve also launched several new models, including Fleet Aquasafe, and a carbonated cooler range. We manufacture OEM coolers for Nestle, Elis (France) and Drink Cup (Italy).”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer