19 Jul

Hearty Congratulations go to World Trader Barry Leahey MBE who has been awarded a Lord Mayor’s COVID19 Livery Award for his contribution to the City and communities impacted by the COVID19 pandemic.

Barry is CEO of Playdale Playgrounds, a family-run business that manufactures outdoor play equipment. Based in Cumbria, with 110 employees, Playdale has created over 23,000 play areas in 59 countries.

Right at the very beginning of the crisis Barry formed a ‘Pivot Product Team’ as he knew reopening Playgrounds safely would heavily depend on hand sanitiser.  Within 6 weeks he had led the team to develop the world’s first fully inclusive, touch free, automated, weatherproof, vandal resistant, alcohol free hand sanitiser station, called ‘PlayClean’.  The response was huge, with units sold as far as Australia and right across the UK.  

Playdale has been being recognised as an exemplar nationally by the Cabinet Office as not only were Playdale the first in the UK to secure a CBILS loan from Barclays, they were one of the first in the UK to be able to state they were COVID19 Secure. This success was picked up on numerous radio interviews and the government chose to feature it in the ‘Great Inspirations Campaign’.

Throughout the pandemic, Barry has committed himself to championing SMEs and regularly contributes to the Be the Business COVID-weekly newsletter for SMEs. As Chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Cumbria and part of both the wider North West region Regional Advisory Board of Make UK and the weekly emergency Cumbria ‘Business Economic Regeneration Group’, there is no doubt that Barry has been instrumental in coordinating the health & economic relief in the North West of England.

Sarah Leonard