Barry Leahey MBE

Barry Leahey MBE



Joined Playdale:


About me:

My first experience of management began in the designing and building of health clubs, followed by telecoms and advertising before joining Playdale Playgrounds in 2004 as Sales & Marketing Director.

My team and I have picked up quite a few awards over the past few years including ‘UK family Manufacturer’, FSB ‘UK SME Exporter of the Year’ and being named DIT and Commonwealth Export Champions to name but a few. In 2018 I was honoured to be named IoD North West ‘Global Director of the Year 2018’ as well as ‘Cumbria Business Person of the Year’. I also recently featured in The Telegraph’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders and have been inducted into The Manufacturer Top 100 people in Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

I’m married to Louise and have a daughter, Arabella, who will never be short of a playground to visit as she grows up!

Best thing about my job:

I am extremely proud of Playdale’s growth and success, particularly our export journey. We now have overseas distributors in 50 countries covering 57% of the global population. To lead a dedicated, passionate team that delivers 60 million smiles around the world is quite something. There’s no better job satisfaction than providing fun through play.

I could not be more proud of my team and the awards we’ve received over the years. A particular huge honour was to be presented with a BOFTA (Board Of Trade) award in early 2019 by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP in recognition of our excellence in international trade, our innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism. An especially proud moment for me personally was in 2017 when I was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for my Services to Export and International Trade.

Favourite playground:

The Caribbean Cove Adventure Playground at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth…Dorset’s biggest adventure playground. As far as exhilarating, colourful, themed playgrounds go they don’t come much bigger or better than this! It was a hugely rewarding team effort from beginning to end. This said I really do rank all our playgrounds equally; they bring happiness and smiles to children’s faces so that makes them all my favourites!

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What our customers say...

"We have been delighted with the work Playdale has done to bring to life Caribbean Cove at Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park. At all stages of design, installation and commissioning we were able to collaborate to ensure the finished product met the overall brief. The quality and range of choices we had far exceeded our expectations and our young guests have had a thrilling time exploring all the great play opportunities that have been created to suit a wide range of ages."
Tamsin Mutton-McKnight, General Manager of the Sea Life Adventure Park, Weymouth, Dorset
"Once again very happy with the service that Playdale have provided from start to finish.  The equipment is made to a high standard and is excellent quality.  Highly recommended!"
Janine Pierce, Headteacher, Yarlside Academy, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
"The service from Playdale has been fantastic every step of the way, and every member of staff in the chain has been excellent. Oak Tree Animals' Charity is delighted with their final product, I couldn't recommend them more highly."
Holly Parkinson, Oak Tree Animals' Charity
"The installers were complete stars, we were so pleased with them. They were helpful, professional and polite; could not have been better. We were extremely impressed!"
Mary Jackson, River Parish Council, Kent