As part of a new member profile series the FSPA recently had the pleasure of talking to Barry Leahey MBE the Managing Director of Playdale Playgrounds. Playdale are a fantastic example of a successful British company that are taking things to the next level. An industry leader in the manufacture, design and installation of playgrounds they’ve embraced the export market and are now winning awards for their achievements in international trade.
Barry kindly took time out of his busy schedule to give us a glimpse into a world of playground and global expansion.
“Being fit for purpose is the least you should expect. We have to go beyond that and aim for inspirational”
Speaking to Barry Leahey, you quickly realise you’re dealing with someone who is knowledgeable, passionate and blessed with a dry wit. Put simply, it’s an enjoyable experience, time well spent. You go away feeling good. All things which tie into Barry’s thoughts on the Playdale success story.
“Ambition, a vision to be the best, and hard work. Lots and lots of hard work.”
It’s said with a smile, but there’s a serious undercurrent. Back in 2008, Playdale were doing well.
Firmly established in the UK, the biggest market in Europe for playground equipment, they took a huge step and decided to expand their horizons. A choice that reflects both his and the company’s attitude toward business – getting too comfortable can be dangerous. Going global may not have been easy, but it was the right thing to do. Bright futures don’t create themselves. What followed has involved careful planning, an enormous amount of effort and a willingness to adapt. One of the things which gives Barry the most satisfaction is how his team have risen to the challenge, developing alongside the growth of the company.
“We’ve every right to be proud of our people. They make us what we are, and, in return, we do our best to help them fulfil their potential. There’s nothing better than seeing someone do that.”