Permali Gloucester

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Permali Gloucester'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 Permali Gloucester 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
Mike Smith, managing director
Queen Elizabeth
, the
largest warship ever built for
the Royal Navy
People who know of Permali Gloucester, founded in 1937,
often refer to them as being part of the “coalition of the
can-do”. Their marketplace is a complex one; the competition
is fierce and not always obvious. Their product end-users face
threats unlike any other. It is a life-and-death business with no
room for a second chance. In such an environment, knowing
that you can partner with someone like Permali, someone who
can help you define and beat your challenge, is reassuring. Mike
Smith, managing director, discusses everything that makes the
company the specialist market leader that they are.
The reason we can do what we do better than most is simple: we are an agile,
privately owned UK manufacturing business based in Gloucester with just under
100 team members. We have the capability to make, or reliably source, everything
that we could possibly be commissioned for. We have some unique processes and
some very skilled people. We are known worldwide for the innovative nature and
extraordinary quality of our work. We partner with some of the biggest names,
as well as some of the smaller, more specialised firms. We also work closely with
academics to ensure we remain a true industry leader in our field of expertise.
We are fully accredited to international standards and are able to deliver tailored
solutions when they’re most needed. We are focused on this objective and we
partner with our clients for the long term.
We are also discreet; we’re proud of what we do, but we don’t talk about it. We
deliberately keep a low profile to ensure that our customers’ confidentiality is
»Managing director: Mike Smith
»Established in 1937
»Based in Gloucester
»Services: Design, development
and manufacture of composite
protective materials
»No. of employees: Just under
»Able to deliver tailored
solutions where necessary
»Preventative specialists in a
life-and-death business
Permali Gloucester
What we actually do
Put simply, we design and
manufacture composite products
whose purpose is to protect individuals
in high-risk environments. Whether
it is for a military or non-military
application, we strive to provide the
best solution for each customer. We
equip vehicles which operate on land,
sea and air to provide class-leading
protection at a lower weight than
Utilising a range of non-metallic
materials and compounds to create
comparatively lightweight composite
protection, we can assist most kinds
of vehicles when it comes to “staying
in the fight”, and help its occupants
make it home safely. This is by no
means just armour – we do a lot of
work on products that people would
not perhaps normally expect. Such an
example is the composite deck netting
systems we provide for naval vessels,
which are not only weatherproof and
long-lasting, but also benefit from a
lower radar signature.
Why we do it
A lot of our work comes as a response
to an anticipated threat. Quite often,
we will be sent detailed specifications
for potential situations and simply be
told that we need to make or build
something that can withstand them.
Our work is defensive, protective and,
above all else, specialist. Our mission
is to keep people, who don’t always
choose to be where they are, safe
– and we’re proud of it. We are the
only major British manufacturer in this
corner of the industry, and the level
of discretion expected can mistakenly
lead others to assume that nothing’s
going on or that the British defence
and security sectors are not world-
leading. That assumption is wrong.
We believe that, when people are
prepared to step forward into harm’s
way, it is our mission to provide them
with the protection they need to ensure
that they get home safely. We have,
in fact, received letters from some
who made it home, despite the odds,
because of what we do. We’reincredibly
Ajax – the British Army’s
new scout vehicle
and, above all
else, specialist
Highlighting best practice
proud of having helped these people,
and that pride goes beyond most job
Our challenges and concerns
Like most small businesses, we face
the usual challenges which come from
working with the largest clients on
long lead time projects: clients who,
for instance, may anticipate that we
have the time and resources to work
without payment. While this isn’t
always the case, we always make it
work – part of our profile is remaining
nimble and agile in everything we
do. We are just as meticulous with
our cash flow, team’s skillset and
capital investments as we are with the
products we design and produce to
ensure that we remain a market leader
and stay ready for our next challenge.
Regarding Brexit, we have no political
view on how it should work. As
an established exporter, we trade
internationally and supply to European
countries, whom I expect will see
beyond the current challenges and
approach business in a pragmatic
manner. Brexit may well not have
the same impact for us that it will for
other companies. It’s a challenge, but,
comparatively, a small one compared
to the others we face.
There aren’t many people in the world
who do what we do, and fewer still
who supply to so many different
defence sectors. We are proud to
support our British, French and
American partners to name just a few.
Our industry comprises a focused group
of companies, and, generally, once
you’ve established your reputation, your
partnerships are for the long term.
Continuing to achieve in our
We have some big opportunities
on the horizon, and we plan to
secure our future for another eight
decades, having celebrated our 80th
anniversary last year. We’d like to think
that the unique Permali approach
is why we are the only major British
company left able to do what we do:
provide our clients with an edge over
Our future is bright. We only anticipate
further growth – both our industry
and the sectors we deliver to are very
strong. We are a genuine hidden
success story, and we know that
our discretion will continue to be a
significant part of Permali’s growth. It
doesn’t matter what the threat is; we’ll
get you the end result you need, and
we won’t make it difficult.
We are a
success story
British Army all-terrain
carrier – the Warthog
RAF Chinook helicopter

This article was sponsored by Permali Gloucester. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister