Barry Leahey MBE, President of Playdale Playground has been honoured with a prestigious 20-year Long Service Award for his exceptional leadership, resilience, and unwavering dedication to the business.
In 2004 Barry joined the Playdale team as Marketing and Sales Director, leading an unparalleled transformation that catapulted the company from challenges to worldwide prominence. His strategic vision and skilled guidance have played a crucial role in positioning Playdale as a leading global authority in playground design, manufacturing, and installation, with a strong presence in 51 countries.
Over the past 20 years, Barry’s dedication has always extended beyond Playdale helping other SMEs navigate challenges and achieve success, making a significant impact on the wider business community. Getting involved in non-executive positions and mentoring commitments. He has been a great source of support and guidance to various organisations and individuals in different sectors. As a Non-Executive Director at the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and a mentor to CEOs in sectors like Manufacturing, Construction, and Services.
Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Barry swiftly implemented measures to prioritise the well-being of Playdale Playgrounds’ employees across three sites in the Northwest. Through the implementation of advanced software tools, he facilitated remote work, showcasing genuine concern for the team and the community, ensuring their safety and welfare.
Barry has always been committed to continuous improvement and innovation and it is that same commitment that led to the development of ‘PlayClean’ during the pandemic. This groundbreaking solution introduced a robust, touch-free, weatherproof, and vandal-resistant hand sanitiser station for both outdoor and indoor playgrounds. His efforts in spearheading this initiative were acknowledged when he received the Lord Mayor’s COVID-19 Livery Award from the City of London in 2021, recognising his exceptional contributions during the pandemic.
Throughout his tenure, our Presidents leadership has been recognised with numerous prestigious awards and accolades, including being named runner-up for the Great Britain Business Leader of the Year at the Great British Business Awards in 2023 and receiving the Board of Trade Award (BOFTA) from the Department of International Trade in 2019 and awarded the prestigious MBE for services to UK Trade and Exports from Her Majesty the Queen in 2017.
His dedication to academia and entrepreneurship led to his appointment as a Professor of Practice at the University of Cumbria in 2021 and as an Honorary Professorial Fellow of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at Lancaster University in 2019. Additionally, he actively contributes to media discussions, sharing valuable insights on important topics such as Brexit, exporting, and advanced manufacturing, with the aim of sharing knowledge and empowering audiences.
After receiving the award Barry said, “Over the past two decades, it has been an absolute joy to witness both the incredible growth of our dedicated team and the evolution of our company, selling fun worldwide. Every minute has been a remarkable journey, cherishing the development of both individuals and our brand, as we’ve spread laughter and happiness across the globe.“
As Playdale Playgrounds keeps expanding, we eagerly anticipate what lies ahead with Barry leading the way. Congratulations, Barry, from all of us at Playdale!
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