British couple who set up hand sanitiser company12 weeks ago, secure £30 MILLION contracts

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  • Andrew and Rachel Montague founded ClearWater Hygiene business in March
  • Saw opportunity to produce British-made hand sanitiser at an ‘ethical price’
  • They have secured contracts with BP, Aldi, and O2 and others totalling £30m

A couple who set up a business making hand sanitiser just 12 weeks ago are on track to make more than £30 million – after securing a raft of corporate contracts.

ClearWater Hygiene, founded by husband and wife team Andrew and Rachel Montague, produces high grade hand sanitiser aimed at frontline workers and the wider public.

The company began trading in March but now has the capacity to produce more than 900,000 litres of its product every week.

The couple, who have four children, own a property investment and development company and have been developing commercial and affordable housing for the last 15 years.

But as the pandemic hit in March, the owner of Deeside Distillery got in touch with them to say he was stopping gin production and switching to sanitiser to help with the crisis.

ClearWater Hygiene, founded by husband and wife team Andrew and Rachel Montague in March, produces high grade hand sanitiser aimed at frontline workers and the wider public. It has already secured major contracts with corporate clients

ClearWater Hygiene, founded by husband and wife team Andrew and Rachel Montague in March, produces high grade hand sanitiser aimed at frontline workers and the wider public. It has already secured major contracts with corporate clients

Rachel and Andrew decided to stop work on their developments and lend a hand to ensure sanitiser could be sold at an ‘ethical price’, after seeing people selling 500ml bottles for £30.

Andrew said: ‘An extended family member, Mike Bain who owns Deeside Distillery, got in contact with us in early March at the start of lockdown and explained that he had had to temporarily down-tools on gin production to assist with the crisis and demand in order to manufacture hand sanitiser for local NHS.

The sanitiser is produced at Deeside Gin Distillery in Banchory, Aberdeenshire and is bottled in Preston, Lancashire.

It contains 80 per cent ethanol liquid making it suitable for use in hospitals, care homes and other public health facilities.

The company has secured major contracts with corporate customers including the Post Office, JD plc, O2 Retail, BP, and Aldi – some of which are multi-year agreements, with an expected total contract value of £30m.

The company has secured major contracts with corporate customers including the Post Office, JD plc, O2 Retail, BP, and Aldi - some of which are multi-year agreements, with an expected total contract value of £30m

 The company has secured major contracts with corporate customers including the Post Office, JD plc, O2 Retail, BP, and Aldi – some of which are multi-year agreements, with an expected total contract value of £30m

The couple believe their company has been granted the contracts over others as the product is completely British – from manufacturing to bottling.

Andrew added: ‘Most importantly our product is made in the UK – manufactured in Scotland, bottled in England and made in Britain – this has resonated enormously with our client base who feel strongly about buying quality British Brands over imports.’

The firm has made more than £3m in actual revenue since its launch in March and has also donated significant quantities of its products to NHS charities.

It now employs 12 full-time staff and a further eight contracted workers at its headquarters in Leith, Edinburgh, and in other parts of Scotland and the UK.

The sanitiser is produced at several distilleries (includes Deeside Gin Distillery in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, pictured) and is bottled in Preston, Lancashire. It contains 80 per cent ethanol liquid making it suitable for use in hospitals, care homes and other public health facilities

The sanitiser is produced at several distilleries (includes Deeside Gin Distillery in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, pictured) and is bottled in Preston, Lancashire. It contains 80 per cent ethanol liquid making it suitable for use in hospitals, care homes and other public health facilities

Mr Montague, a property developer, said: ‘As lockdown was being announced in March, we immediately saw the importance of reducing our reliance on imports and focusing on UK manufacturing to ensure both health providers and private businesses could access high quality and fairly priced products which are now essential in the battle against the pandemic.

‘We are proud to be providing some much-needed support in the fight against Covid-19 by gifting our product to NHS charities while, at the same time, building a successful business.

‘From a standing start just 12 weeks ago, we have seen a huge surge in demand for our products across the UK.

‘We’re continuing to secure significant contracts and we’ve ramped up production to 900,000 litres per week.’

James Horton from law firm CMS, one of ClearWater Hygiene’s key business advisers, said: ‘Andrew and Rachel have been phenomenal in the speed of their response to this public health crisis.

‘They not only identified a market opportunity but have also helped address some of the essential supply issues in combating Covid-19 in the UK.’

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