The BBC comes to Playdale for Breakfast


Did you spot us on national television this morning?

We were absolutely delighted to welcome BBC Breakfast to Playdale HQ early this morning (Friday 10th May) and when we say early, we mean 5 am early! The outside broadcast business news film crew arrived as dawn was breaking over Haverthwaite, South Cumbria.

Live broadcasts from our playground equipment factory featured a number of times throughout the course of the three-hour morning news programme.

BBC Breakfast news presenter Nina Warhurst toured our factory, timber shop and assembly areas and spoke to our MD Barry Leahey about how British manufacturing is on the up, in particular with regards to exported goods which make up a large part of our business.

Nina asked Barry how their preparations for (the now postponed) Brexit during the first quarter of 2019 had affected the business. Barry explained that as 50% of Playdale’s manufactured goods are shipped abroad there was a certain amount of additional stock coverage that needed to take place. Any delays at ports was not an option. This was part of Playdale’s Brexit action plan and a practical measure they had to take to ensure they continued to deliver excellent customer service, at home and abroad.

The added pressure on the business due to the increased stock levels has, however, resulted in improved performance during 2019, to date. May is set to be a record month for output here at Playdale.

Nina commented on the gorgeous smell of the freshly cut, slow grown pine timber poles which we all take for granted here. She spoke to our CNC Team Leader Matt McGinley regarding facts and figures about our productivity levels and lean manufacturing systems & methods which have significantly increased efficiencies and reduced waste here at Playdale.

Mick O’Doherty is our Premises & Facilities Manager and also one of our longest serving members of staff having worked at Playdale Playgrounds for an incredible thirty years! He has worked in nearly every department and knows the business inside and out. He spoke to Nina about how great it is that the children of staff at the business are official ‘Playdale Playgrounds’ Test Engineers’ (& yes, some of the parents too!)

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism along with Kay Neufeld, Head of Macroeconomics at the Centre For Economics and Business Research joined Team Playdale for the morning, to chat to Nina about the wider impact of Brexit on one of the region’s biggest industries, tourism, the importance of business investment and the UK’s GDP on the whole.

Just before the crew left our MD Barry asked Nina to present a very special award…the Playdale Employee Of The Moment Award which today became the Employees Of The Moment Award as it was presented to all of Team Playdale for giving a very warm Cumbrian welcome to our special guests today.

Don’t worry if you missed it, you can watch it all on BBC iPlayer here. We were on at 6.25, 6.52, 7.53 and 8.50am. But you only have until 9.15am on Saturday 11th May to catch it!


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