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Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson took centre stage at the start of the EDP Business Awards as he was presented with the Denise Anderson award.

Sponsored by Anglian Water, the award was made in recognition of a 20 year career at the theatre during which time he has overseen the transformation of the venue from a nearly derelict building into a centre piece for theatre and the arts in Norfolk.

The Denise Anderson Award was created in memory of the former director of Business Link, who died tragically in 2003.

Presenting the award, John Karolski, from Anglian Water, said Mr Wilson was a worthy winner.

“The Denise Anderson award is all about recognising these outstanding individuals, and this year’s winner, Peter Wilson MBE, is no exception,” he said. “ His achievements in the arts, in business, and as an ambassador for the region are second to none.

“Peter embodies many of the things that people like to think the East of England is famous for: creative dynamism, commercial acumen, and above all, a passion for constantly improving the region. All in all, he is a very worthy winner of the Denise Anderson award.

Mr Wilson paid tribute to his colleagues at the theatre, who he said helped underpin its continuing success.

“I love Norfolk and want it to prosper in every possible way,” he said. “However, there are two reasons why I am able to involve myself so fully in its artistic life. The first is that my colleagues at the Theatre Royal run it as an outstandingly professional operation, and so liberate me from much of the day to day management. The second is that my partner is lenient with my time. To both of them I give my thanks and gratitude.

“I am proud to be both the voice and the cheerleader for the Theatre Royal.”

With a theatrical circus theme on the night, the new look awards ceremony celebrated the achievements of the 30 business who had made it to the finals and the 10 winning companies.

Johnny Hustler, managing director of Archant Anglia, paid tribute to the achievements of the businesses and the key role they played as wealth creators, and he also praised the combined work of the New Anglia Local Enterprise partnership, Norfolk Chamber, and the economic development teams at each of Norfolk’s councils for the part they played in helping the local economy prosper.




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