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Playscheme's 2016 Roundup

Dave BarrowBlog posted on 21st December 2016 by Dave Barrow

2016 has been a funny old year for many. It's taken some of the greatest artists, songwriters and actors, and politics has been a hot topic worldwide, from Brexit to the presedential election. But to bring a little light relief from the world around us, this year has been one of the most exciting yet for Playscheme, and it's certainly going out with a bang!

We've accomplished quite a lot of things this year, and achieved and crossed many milestones. With this in mind, we thought we should take a recap over the year and reminisce on some of the projects and moments that have made us proud, and most-importantly, made us smile.

In 2016 alone, we have designed 543 bespoke new products and we've installed 235 projects across the UK, and when we break it down like that, we can't believe just how busy we've actually been and how many playgrounds we have completely transformed. 

Two huge turning points this year are the fact that we completely rebranded, creating a new website off the back of this, as well as making crucial changes to the structure of the business, reshuffling certain members of the team and the appointment of Steve Danby as Managing Director, so that John Danby could become Chairman and Head of Sales. 

Rebrand and new website

After gaining feedback from existing customers and from various marketing meetings, we realised that it was imperative to update our brand and positioning to enable to move into future target markets. 

After looking at how we looked within our market, we set some brand guidelines and enlisted the help of students from York St John to come up with the quirky characters in the logo. 

Alongside this, there was also a refresh of the Playscheme website. We made the decision to step forward with our digital marketing offering, creating a contemporary website that has optimised the journey of the user, allowing them to create wish lists of play products, which in turn, streamlines our sales process when building quotes for clients.

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Steve became Managing Director 

In quarter four we made some big changes to the structure of our business. Steve will now lead the business going forward, with John Danby focusing on sales within the company, leaving the overall running, planning and direction of the company to his son.

In his new role, which will become a lot more office based, Steve will be looking at securing future business, developing relationships with new customers, and spending time overseeing all departments within the company.

Steve Danby

New Starters

We were lucky to be able to take on five new members of the team as well as one apprentice. These new recruits make up both the design team and workshop staff. In the design team we have Adam Press, Mark Chester and George Green, and in the workshop we have introduced Malcolm Swann and Jonny Comito, as well as Matt Price who is working with us on placement as part of his course at Selby College. Currently he spends one day a week at College and the other four at Playscheme.

In 2016 we have worked with eight work experience students from various schools and colleges and have set up various apprenticeships over the year, too. Something that we hope to do more of next year. 

Matt Price

Building plans 

In the last few months of the year we have been planning a new extension on our building, which is super exciting! As we are growing and taking on new staff, the space we currently have is in need of an expansion. The designs are in place, and in the new year we will be taking action to create a brand new studio with plenty of space. 

Workshop refit

This year we have had a complete refit of our workshop, which also included some work to the grounds outside of the building. This was also quite an exciting project, as we discovered an old well under our foundations!

Now that we have completed the work in the workshop, we have more square footage to work on more play equipment in house, as well as on site. 

Worked alongside York St. John University 

Earlier this year we were kindly approached by York St. John University to launch a project brief on behalf of Playscheme for their second year students. 

The project brief itself was quite simple, and this was to design, develop and present a package to Playscheme, selling a brand new and innovative product that would help us to compete in the school market place.

During the process, we discovered some incredible and unique talent and are looking forward to working with the university again on future projects next year. 


Primary Spaces

This year we completed all 82 Primary Spaces projects that we pitched for and delivered from design to completion. In May 2014 it was exciting to learn that Sport England had released funding for a project called 'Primary Spaces' and were looking for contractors to design, manufacture and install brand new play spaces for schools across England.

In total, we designed, manufactured and installed 82 Primary Spaces projects nationwide, they include Chester, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Leeds, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Sheffield, Merseyside, Lincolnshire, Bradford, Brighton, Hove, Derbyshire, Manchester, Gateshead and Northumberland. All of which have been completed this year. 

Jumping children Primary Spaces

Increased our customer base in visitor attractions

Creating a fantastically fun area for children to let off steam encourages families to visit time and again. Linked with a cafe or picnic area, it's an opportunity for mums and dads to get some relaxation time too. 

As we are recognised members of the National Farm Attractions Network, this has been a fantastic opportunity for us to move further into the farming attraction sector, build awareness of our brand and offer our bespoke services, too. 

This year we've worked on some great projects, including the Horrible Histories Maze at Warick Castle, which got us nationwide coverage. In 2017, we hope to do a lot more of this type of work and we truly cannot wait!

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Interested in what we do and want us to be a part of your story in 2017? Contact us on 01904 607 677 or mail@play-scheme.co.uk. We'd love to help you revolutionise your play space in the new year! 

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