Exporting is kids’ play for Playdale

Children in Seoul and Singapore don’t know it, but they can thank a family-owned business in the Lake District for their fun. Playdale Playgrounds, which is based in Ulverston, has been making playground equipment for 35 years – and is a modern export success.

Yet its focus on exporting only really began four years ago. Initially, the company looked at European markets. “We were hungry for growth,” says sales and marketing director Barry Leahey. Playdale contacted United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI)  from the outset for guidance and introductory information, and got itself export-ready through the Passport to Export programme. “Preparation is the key,” he says in this video.

And, like children on a swing, the business has gone higher and higher ever since.

Today, Playdale has built more than 17,500 playgrounds around the world. The company has distributors in Singapore and South Korea and has been on trade missions to India and the UAE.

It’s an active user of UKTI services such as the Gateway to Global Growth programme and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) reports.

There’s a charming and fascinating story of the nine generations of the Croasdale family and their involvement in the Cumbrian timber business – and how it started making playgrounds in 1978.

Today the £13m-turnover, 140-employee company has bold ambitions, planning to be in 40 countries within the next three years.
Playdale has been an extensive user of UKTI services to grow its export business and accelerate the growth and profitability of the company.  Find out more about how UKTI can help your business.