Today we are talking to Daryl, our very own Facilities and Project Manager at Drayton Manor Park. Daryl has an interesting role and has been part of the foundations at Drayton Manor Park since he started his journey back in March 2005.

He began working in the rides department and this really was a varied role, ranging from ‘the kiddies corner’, to operating the larger rides, such as Stormforce 10.

During the Winter season he worked alongside the engineers and completed general maintenance as well as helping to dismantle and re-build the rides.

Daryl became an apprentice in carpentry and joinery which helped him gain his knowledge in the construction industry. This led him to an outstanding 3rd place position in a construction skill build competition, whereby he represented his local county Burton and South Staffordshire College, something that he looks back on with great pride.

Originally born in Nottingham, Daryl has a 3-year-old daughter who keeps him very busy when he isn’t at work. He has soon learnt that she is the hardest boss to please.

When completing his university course in Building and Construction, he very quickly started a new chapter in his career and soon realised that the new skills generated were paramount to his day to day role at Drayton. Sustainability and new construction methods are what really interests Daryl and he goes on to explain how they have really helped him to improve on new projects here at the park.

However, what he really thrives on is creating new relationships and finding new suppliers and contractors in the industry. He believes that this is the crux of everything in order to help bring new and improved systems of work and expand facilities within the Park.

Here are some things that Daryl wanted to share about his role at Drayton Manor Park.

“We have a team of 24 employees ranging from the age of 20 up to the age of 70. The Facilities team consists of a Facilities and Project Manager, Carpenters, Plumbers, General Maintenance Operatives, Painters, Grounds Persons, a Facilities Coordinator and a Stores Operative that controls all goods in for the Facilities department. Facilities cover day to day maintenance, improvements to the infrastructure of the whole park and all legal compliance to ensure that the public and staff are safe. We have a wide variety of knowledge between teams and regularly complete projects in-house from the design stage to completion with a high standard of installation. Over the past 10 years Facilities has recruited and trained 8 apprentices across the trades with 5 of them staying with the company and moving up into qualified trades person positions, often leading onto becoming Team Leaders or Managers”.

Daryl’s biggest achievements since working at Drayton Manor Park have been: ‘During the winter close season of 2015, we completed a new Tamarin Trail. This included, 7 small housed areas with temperature control, light control and the ability to close off sections for the animals to be parted. Each house also has a large enclosure which is 4 meters high, giving them an enjoyable area to live in. This was all installed by our in-house Facilities teams which cut down the labour cost significantly.The following year, March 2016, we began the installation of the new attraction VertiGO. Again, all design requirements were completed in-house, by our marketing design team. The building is a timber built construction, insulated to the highest standard to achieve energy efficiency. We also introduced our first two sets of unisex toilets in this area’.

He goes on to say that the best thing about working at Drayton Manor Park is that “each member of the team knows their role and does it to the highest standard possible. But most importantly, when needed we have the ability to group together and achieve what is necessary for the company, on time and safely. Every day is a school day, there is something new/different to resolve or improve but nothing that we couldn’t solve between the team as of yet”.

Daryl looks forward to exciting projects happening in 2017 and is hoping to develop and be part of the build for new installations.

If you would like to see the Tamarin Trail that Daryl helped to install, please visit this page. VertiGO is also a newly opened attraction available to the public. To see the attraction in its full glory please visit this page of our website.