Playdale Playgrounds has walked away with a top award recognising excellence in international trade.

The company, which exports its Cumbrian manufactured playground equipment to 49 countries around the world, was awarded a BOFTA (Board of Trade) by Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP, at a ceremony in Durham Castle.

The Haverthwaite-headquartered SME’s managing director, Barry Leahey MBE picked up the award, which also recognised Playdale’s innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism.

The BOFTAs have been launched by the Department of International Trade (DIT) to recognise business who are leading the way in exporting and encourage others to follow suit.

Commenting on the award, Mr Fox, who is also president of the Board of Trade, said: “The judging panel was particularly impressed by the success and growth of Playdale Playgrounds, especially in an area of the UK where there are limited manufacturing opportunities. 

“The panel also highlighted that they were particularly impressed by the development of exportable business and the active relationship with the DIT.”

Mr Leahey, the architect behind the company’s rapid overseas expansion, said he was delighted its work had been recognised at Government level.

“What a testament to all the hard work and dedication that all of our team have put into developing our business internationally over the past few years,” he said.

“We have built solid relationships with our global distributors and continue to develop and nurture these via the regular training, product knowledge and customer care visits we make.”

He also thanked the DIT for helping encourage and direct Playdale’s exporting activities.

“Without their help, we would not be as successful as we are,” he added.

“They’ve been instrumental in our exporting success and we’ve gained invaluable knowledge through their services. I urge others to follow the same export path.”

Playdale actively helps other businesses to export as an official “export champion” for the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

The latest award will be added to Playdale’s packed trophy cabinet, having picked up numerous honours for its exporting activities in recent years. Meanwhile, Mr Leahey picked up the Businessperson of the Year title at the in-Cumbria Business Awards 2018.