A Cumbrian business leader has been granted the Freedom of the City of London.

Award-winning leader Barry Leahey MBE, managing director of Playdale Playgrounds, in Haverthwaite, was given the accolade today.

The honour is given to people who have achieved success, recognition or celebrity in their chosen field.

Barry is now a ‘Freeman’ of the Worshipful World Traders – just one of the many City Livery Companies that the Freedom Of The City is still closely associated with.

Historically, the privileges of a Freeman included being hanged with a silk rope (for committing murder or treason), avoiding the press gangs that carted people off for a life at sea and most importantly being exempt from paying the livestock toll when taking animals across London Bridge to market.

At the same time Barry has also become an Honorary Professorial Fellow at Lancaster University Management School in Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

This title is awarded to people from industry, which a university wishes to recognise and collaborate with.

It has been awarded to Barry for his outstanding contribution to Lancaster University and the local region .

Barry said: “I am blown away to receive such recognition.

"All my life I have just worked to be the best I can in roles I have always enjoyed.

"Over the last few years I have received some fantastic awards which would have not been possible without the team around me, and for that I am very grateful.

"The event with the Lord Mayor was quite something else and to be called professor will now take some getting used to.”