Security Print Solutions

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Security Print Solutions'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 Security Print Solutions 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, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

Highlighting best practice
Co-owners and brothers Jim
and Michael Crowther
Four of our directors, who have well over 100 years’ experience between
them, beside one of our six presses where we feed white paper in at
one end, and out of the other end of the press comes the complete
product – barcode and hologram and all. ‘One-pass production’
Security Print Solutions is a major provider of specialist
security printing – established in 1982, the company has
developed important relationships around the world,
with a major client in the tax stamp field. Essentially, they
help governments, companies and corporate clients to protect
against fraud and counterfeiting. By using key patented
technology, they have managed to provide insuperable degrees
of revenue and brand protection. After decades in this business,
they have established important relationships – which, among
other things, is how they have produced revenue stamps for
a number of African governments. Here to expound more
thoroughly how the company operates are the co-owners, Jim
and Mike Crowther.
What we do
Security Print Solutions has a single vision in mind: to defeat counterfeiting and fraud.
We began initially with producing secure cheques and tickets for major events, but
evolved later into producing specialised A4 documents such as certificates and legal
paperwork. Now we produce security printing for all manner of purposes, not least
in the vast quantities of tax/revenue stamps manufactured. Linked to this is our
innovation in track and trace systems, data storage, and development of intricate
security features which are embedded within our products. We produce more than
eight billion pieces of tax stamp product alone with the expectancy of more on the
horizon, and from a multitude of states additional to our current African markets.
»Managing director:
»Directors: Mike Crowther,
Graham McGuire (financial),
Stephen Wilson, Dave Clough,
Paul Craig and Claire Duggins
»Established in 1982
»Based in Consett, County
»Services: Specialist security
»No. of employees: 80
»Prints revenue stamps
for a number of overseas
Security Print Solutions
We now also offer services in
document management and fulfilment
within certificates and vouchers. In
developing countries, whose legal
and commercial systems are still in
a state of maturation, our services
are particularly useful. Countries
and major clients have asked for our
company’s skills, access to patents,
knowledge and training to help them
create employment in their domestic
markets. Just as the UK has generally
moved from manufacturing to
education, we will use our expertise
to help develop these security printing
techniques in our partners’ countries.
That means interesting opportunities
for all.
What gives us an edge
In addition to having the respect of
being an established British company,
what provides Security Print Solutions
with the edge over our competitors are
two things. One is our unique methods
of production; the entire process –
which runs 24 hours a day – is done
in one pass and can be carried out
with just one highly trained printer.
In effect, all that’s required is that
we feed white paper in at one end,
and out of the other end of the press
comes the complete product – barcode
and hologram and all. What’s more
is that we have six of these machines
doing this. This is a process that took
a long time to refine and develop –
something helped greatly by the fact
we’ve been in this industry for decades,
as is the case for all of the leadership
within Security Print Solutions.
The second thing that affords us
an edge is our use of patents. Prior
to obtaining patents, our processes
were regularly emulated by larger
competitors and, because of their
correspondingly larger resources,
were better marketed and utilised.
To ensure that this undue advantage
was no longer conferred to our
competitors, we decided to protect
against it via the patent system.
Because the patent system in the UK is
held in high esteem around the world,
it was only a short step from there to
acquiring patents in other countries.
This has guaranteed our place in
Countries and
major clients
have asked for
our company’s
skills, access to
and training to
help them
employment in
their domestic
Security Print Solutions’
design studio
Highlighting best practice
What poses problems for us
Due to the range of countries we
trade in, keeping up with currency
rates is challenging. Getting this right
provides us with the stable platform
needed to take our business to the
next level.
It is crucial that we work with our
partners and governments alike to
establish the necessary trust which is
required between all parties involved.
Our partners primarily have the right
kind of network within county and we
have the technical expertise to deliver
a quality security product. Although
there can be growing pains in this
process of establishing trust, once it’s
there, it generally stays there, hence 90
per cent of our business being retained
on such projects.
What the future holds in store
for us
One of the things that will keep us
strong into the future is our fantastic
team. Our staff are exceptionally loyal
to the company, and our structure
is highly conducive to its smooth
operation. The layer below us in terms
of leadership is another four directors:
a commercial director (David Clough),
an operations director (Paul Craig), a
head of design (Claire Duggins) and a
standards compliance officer (Stephen
Wilson). In doing things this way,
all facets of Security Print Solutions
are covered by experienced people,
resulting quite naturally in high-quality
products. Our print workers, too, are
also hardworking and committed
The direction we want to head is
quite simple: developing the business
in European, Commonwealth and
developing countries. We believe there
will be enhanced opportunities to
establish stronger ties in all parts of the
world, and this is a prospect to which
we look forward.
Finally we continue to invest in
research and development. Our
expenditure each year in this element
is considerable, enabling sound
investment decisions to be made to
fuel the growth.
Discussing security
design concepts within
our artwork studio
Typical Security
Print Solutions anti-
counterfeiting innovation
– security graphic designs
created by our expert
artwork team which
have been printed with
invisible UV security inks

This article was sponsored by Security Print Solutions. 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