Name: Nick Meakin.

Age: 60 but why is that relevant?

What is your business called?

Aqualution Systems Ltd.

Where is it based?

Duns in the Scottish Borders.

What does it produce?

Aqualution is the market leader in the science, production and application of hypochlorous acid. Our products and solutions provide complete infection control safely and effectively to a range of sectors delivering for them significant reductions in cross-contamination, reducing risk and enhancing the safety of the people using the facilities. It is used in environments from offices, factories, schools, healthcare and care homes to keep both people and places infection free. We also operate in food safety, decontaminating fruit, salads, vegetables and herbs, and in livestock welfare, mainly in dairy and chicken farming.

Aqualution technology generates hypochlorous acid from water and salt via our in-house designed electro-dialysis process to produce a stable, fast-acting biocide for many different uses.

The company produces two core products:

An on-site, on-demand biocide that is generated at the point of use, for example in poultry farming and in food manufacture and processing.

A bottled product that can be sold into a number of sectors such as healthcare, pet care, facilities management and dentistry. This is sold under Aqualution brand names and licenced to others to sell under their brands.

To whom does it sell?

Hospitals, care homes and care home groups, dentists, education facilities, offices, sports facilities, hospitality businesses, farms and agriculture, supermarkets.

What is its turnover?

As a direct result of the Covid 19 coronavirus, Aqualution has experienced a 560 per cent growth in revenue, to £4 million on an annualised basis.

How many employees?


When was it formed?

September 2009.

Why did you take the plunge?

The pharmaceutical business where the original research was done was sold in 2008 and the new owners were not interested so I led a management buyout and we developed the business from there. The potential of the concept was very significant and while it has taken us a while to get sales to seven figures we are accelerating now as a lot of high value research and development starts to come to market readiness.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I have worked in many sectors including automotive, food production, aviation, aquaculture and pharmaceutical, holding main board positions in a number of significant companies for the last 30 years.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

From business angels, two of whom are still with us.

What was your biggest break?

The first one was convincing Marks and Spencer that we were a credible company to be developing food safety solutions for them. As you can imagine, it is fiercely protective of its brand and reputation for leading on food quality and food safety issues. To achieve the level of credibility and trust for them to invite us to develop specific answers to emerging food safety challenges for them was a big step in growing the food safety side of the business.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

The variety of applications for our molecule means that we get involved in a vast range of projects and meet people with different insights from all over the world. There are not many businesses where one day you will be in a mango plantation in Ghana, the next working to develop robotic harvesting systems in America and the following day be in an aged care facility in Newcastle.

Our core team has also been together from day one and we all get on really well.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

To build on what we have achieved so far in the biocides space and to take us into the pharmaceutical area where we have a number of exciting R&D projects that are showing potential to do some real good in managing difficult to cure conditions.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?

We have had great support from Scottish Enterprise, but with respect to the next stage from the Scottish government then support to be able to build a factory close to our current location so we can keep the jobs we have already created in the area and then employ more people locally.

With respect to Westminster, then ensuring that post Brexit, we have seamless trade outside the UK as more than half of our sales are export and getting enforcement action quickly taken against companies that do not comply with the regulatory requirements to sell biocides and medicinal products. We have invested several million pounds in making sure we are fully compliant.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

If you really believe in something then keep going.

How do you relax?

Having been a foster carer for the last 25 years relaxing is a relative term. However, in winter I umpire men’s hockey and am on the national level umpiring panel. In summer, it’s cricket where I play for my local club and also play senior’s cricket representing Suffolk in both the over 50’s and over 60’s teams.