Playground firm lands loan to secure future of business

Barry Leahey

Playground manufacturer Playdale has secured funding from its bank to support it through the current crisis.

Playdale Playgrounds, based in Ulverston, has secured the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL) in order to help keep the business running and protect 105 jobs.

Established in 1978, Playdale has been designing, manufacturing and installing  playground equipment for over 40 years throughout the UK. From traditional climbing frames to modern sensory areas.

Managing Director Barry Leahey said: “We are a ninth generation business exporting to 50 countries, but the pandemic meant our order book dried up very quickly.

“At first, we were living hour-by-hour, but the loan scheme, and our disaster recovery plan, means we have kicked into gear and now have clarity on what our future looks like. The loan gives us a lifeline and an opportunity to go again.

“I’ve invested heavily in my team’s culture and training so I’m glad to be able to keep them together using the furlough scheme. In addition, it is important that I can settle with my suppliers, whom I pay as soon as their invoice is due.

“Looking ahead, this support gives us the time and ability to adapt the business for the world after corona, and we’ll be ready to meet that renewed demand.

“Barclays has been very supportive, I appreciate having a personal relationship with my bank and someone I can pick up the phone to. My bank manager Phil has been very accessible, including evenings and weekends. It is what customer service should feel like.”

Barclays Relationship Director, Philip Royle, said, “Barry and his team put in a huge amount of work to build Playdale into a strong business, so when coronavirus impacted them, we moved quickly to discuss how Barclays could help. As a bank, we provided the necessary information so the company could make the right decisions in a difficult situation.

“The CBILS loan will give the company enough fuel to get through in this uncertain time and be ready to bounce back when demand returns.”