Manufacturer put through its paces as freezer project heats up

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Viewers of a new primetime BBC programme will see one of Britain’s best known business figures putting North East manufacturing bosses under the microscope as they prepare for a major product launch.

The former Trade Minister and CBI director general Lord Digby Jones has spent months working behind the scenes with the team establishing a County Durham facility to manufacture Norfrost freezers.

Lord Jones drove management at Ebac to re-examine everything they have learned over 40 years of manufacturing as they worked to re-launch the Norfrost brand, taking on the likes of Indesit, Zanussi and Hotpoint, in a market which saw the collapse of Norfrost’s previous owners.

Digby Jones: The New Troubleshooter, sees Lord Jones working with businesses to drive forward major projects. The Norfrost brand and machinery were bought in 2013 by Ebac, which is based in Newton Aycliffe.

Viewers will see how Lord Jones has been working alongside management, led by managing director Pamela Petty, in the build-up to the first new Norfrost freezers being produced next month.

The programme will air at 8pm on Thursday, April 24, on BBC 2.

Pamela Petty said: “The launch of Norfrost freezers marks a major investment for us, so to be under the spotlight from Lord Digby Jones and the TV cameras at the same time has added a real element of external scrutiny to the process.

“Working with Lord Jones has been more than just filming a TV series. It has been a great opportunity to use and learn from his experience and to take on board his views and criticisms, as well as taking pride in what he feels we do well.

“We have a wealth of experience in manufacturing products for the home and in refrigeration, but having an outside expert to give his view on what we are doing and how we are doing it has been hugely valuable. Lord Jones was very thorough and really put our plans, processes and thoughts to the test, which is great for us and for the final products because no stone has been left unturned.”

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