A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Daniamant's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Daniamant is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Kevin Rough, CEO
L160 lifebuoy light, winner of The
Queen’s Award for Innovation
Daniamant Ltd is a manufacturing company, based in
Portsmouth, that produces survivor location lights for the
marine, military, civil and aviation markets. Kevin Rough,
CEO, has worked with Daniamant Ltd since they acquired
his previous employer McMurdo in 2006. He explains that all
products must meet strict quality standards set out under the
Marine Equipment Directive (MED) and Safety of Life at Sea
(SOLAS) regulations. Daniamant Ltd’s clients include original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the UK Ministry of Defence
and distributors all over the world.
Despite a drop in UK defence sales and significant price pressure from the Far East,
Daniamant Ltd continue to innovate and bring new products to market ensuring
they grow their export business and remain competitive and profitable. Their head
office is in Denmark where they have a second manufacturing facility aiming to
diversify into different market segments within the marine sector.
Founded in 2006 Daniamant Ltd has had to continue to improve its existing
product range, while developing new products and improving productivity and
its cost base to ensure it remains competitive in a very tough commercial marine
market. Daniamant Ltd has won numerous manufacturing and innovation
awards over the last few years, but its highlight during this period was being the
recipient of a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2014 for a lifebuoy light range
designed to penetrate the European and US markets and open up a niche in the
»CEO: Kevin Rough
»Established in 2006
»Based in Portsmouth
»Services: Manufacture of
survivor location lights
»No. of employees: 37
Daniamant Ltd
With falling UK and military business
Daniamant Ltd has had to actively
target export markets through
distribution and partners to survive. In
2006, Daniamant Ltd’s export business
represented 32 per cent of its £3.6
million turnover; in 2017, Daniamant
Ltd’s export business represented 73
per cent of its £5 million turnover. This
growth was achieved while prices fell
by over 50 per cent in the same period.
Forging strong long-term relationships
and partnerships is key to this success,
at the same time as remaining
competitive and having a quality
product that your partners can trust,
especially with products that are used
to save people’s lives when all else
Remaining competitive has been tough;
Brexit has had an impact on increasing
raw material costs, and revenue at a
group level has been reduced due to
the approx. 20 per cent reduction in the
Danish krona from all sales in the UK.
The National Living Wage has further
increased production costs, augmented
by pension auto enrolment costs. All
of this has meant that you need to
find more efficient ways to produce
your products, automate or design out
older techniques and design in new
innovative methods to keep production
costs low and waste to a minimum.
Recently, Daniamant Ltd has diversified
and started to cross over from its main
commercial market into the leisure
segment to increase sales further;
however, caution is required. Although
there are similarities in products
required, a different approach is
needed, as there is no legislation in
the leisure market, so buyer behaviour
is different. The new ODEO FlareTM is
a recent example. It is an innovative
product that can potentially replace
pyrotechnics reducing hazards,
transport and disposal costs, but with
no legislation sales growth is slower.
Lobbying the appropriate authorities,
working with partners worldwide to
justify the benefits is a slow process;
however, hard work pays off and sales
of this product have grown 100 per
cent over the past three years.
The team in Portsmouth
Forging strong
partnerships is
key to this
Daniamant’s timeline
Highlighting best practice
Despite Daniamant Ltd’s size and lean
resource they demonstrate that small
companies in the UK are still focused
on and committed to developing
innovative products and continually
expanding into new markets. CEO
Kevin Rough states, “UK companies
can be and still are competitive when
it comes to manufacturing; it is so
important that we showcase the talent
that we have here in the UK.”
The next few years will be important
and Rough states that “tariff-free
movement of goods to the EU is
critical for UK companies to remain
competitive; our business has grown
in this area significantly and that hard
work needs to be protected. Any
imposition of tariffs would increase
costs, make processes more complex
and bureaucratic increasing our
customers’ costs. Operating under
the Marine Equipment Directive (and
a myriad of other regulations and
legislation) is hard for small businesses
and how EU legislation is dealt
with will be key. The current MED
legislation puts responsibilities on
manufacturers who are not located in
the territory of at least one member
state; Brexit has had a real impact
here, but with offices in Denmark we
can be compliant.”
Daniamant Ltd, in conjunction with
its Danish facility, continues to look
for new ways to apply its expertise in
design and manufacturing in other
products or identify gaps in the
market for further growth. Despite
the commercial marine market being
in decline for the past three to four
years there are now signs of growth,
especially in the cruise segment, and
Daniamant Ltd will work hard with its
partners to exploit this potential. They
have recently acquired another UK
company manufacturing 3D forward-
looking sonar, and this product will
help reduce accidents and collisions
with underwater objects. This is
another step into a different marine
segment to spread the risk of only
having one target market.
Daniamant Ltd continue to invest
in new product development every
year; a technical improvement, a cost
reduction, a new product – without
this continued investment Rough
feels that Daniamant Ltd would be
going backwards very quickly. You
have to keep moving forward, even
if sometimes it feels you are working
hard to stand still. We have to help
our customers and supply chain
be more successful by being at the
leading edge of our technology,
ensuring high quality and offering
them a product portfolio they can be
competitive with.
Rough states “I have been in
manufacturing for 30 years; I believe
passionately in UK manufacturing,
the fact that we can still compete
with anyone in the world. Daniamant
Ltd’s continued success demonstrates
just that; a small company from
Portsmouth can innovate and export
and be recognised alongside the BAE
and Jaguars of the world. It shows
what talent we have here in the
south and in the UK, and is the key to
growing this country’s exports.”
I believe
passionately in
the fact that
we can still
compete with
anyone in the
The innovative ODEO


This article was sponsored by Daniamant. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy