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Podcast: The secrets of a successful exporter

Barry Leahey

Playdale Playgrounds is one of Cumbria’s most successful exporters.

The business manufactures outdoor playground equipment at Haverthwaite, near Ulverston, and sells its products across the globe.

Playdale has been so successful at exporting that it was selected as one of the Department for International Trade’s ‘Export Champions’ while Managing Director Barry Leahey received the MBE last year for ‘Services to UK trade and investment and exports’.

In this podcast, Barry outlines why Playdale started exporting, how they selected target markets and overcame obstacles, and who they turned to for help. He also offers tips and advice for first-time exporters.

The Chamber’s Cumbria Business Growth Hub provides a wealth of assistance to new and existing exporters, whatever their size or sector.

To find out more click here or call 0844 257 84 50.

Click here to subscribe to Chamber podcasts.

ERDFThe funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Allerdale Borough Council (Sellafield Ltd’s Allerdale SIIF, distributed by Allerdale Borough Council), Barrow Borough Council (FEDF Coastal Communities Fund Supply Chain Initiative, the Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estates marine assets; it is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of UK Government), Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria LEP.  The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, click here.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce


  1. Hi Barry.
    Great advice on this podcast. Really enjoyed it. Absolutely support your sentiments on embracing the challenge, the culture, the food of the new countries you are entering as a company as a whole. There is a big fear of the unknown and once management is comfortable, prepared and making things happen, you have gone the extra mile to bring your whole team to table, so the whole company is embraces these ventures.

    I also completely agree with the importance of working with local partners to benefit from their knowledge and brand that is already existing and embedded in the market, giving you an immediate step up. It is however worth considering what platforms and SAAS you can use to help manage ongoing communications and relations in the market, to help ease the burden and cost on your time.

    Keep up the good work!


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