Norwich Theatre Royal boss Peter Wilson receives EDP Business Denise Anderson award

06:30 03 October 2012

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal.

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

Over the course of a 20 year career at Norwich Theatre Royal Peter Wilson has raised the curtain on a transformation of an almost derelict building, which some feared would never survive, to a thriving cultural venue which has made a significant contribution to the local economy.

But his focus has not just been in Norwich. Across the county he has shown tireless support for small arts organisations which are the heart of many of our communities and market towns, from the St George’s Trust in Great Yarmouth to the King’s Lynn Arts Centre.

Today as we publish the list of finalists of this year’s EDP Business Awards we can proudly announce that Mr Wilson will be presented with the Denise Anderson Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution both to the Norfolk economy and his dedication and commitment to the cultural fabric of Norfolk.

The award, which is supported by main sponsor Anglian Water, was created in memory of the former director of Business Link, who died tragically in 2003.

Last year Bill Jordan received the award, and previous winners have included Delia Smith, Mike Kimberley, the former chief executive of Group Lotus and Robert Carter, of building group RG Carter.

Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s managing director, said: “The Denise Anderson award is all about recognising those who go the extra mile in their contribution to the region, and Peter clearly fulfils the criteria. His achievements in the arts, in business, and as an ambassador for the region are second to none.

“Whether it’s creativity, innovation, financial acumen, engineering ingenuity or just pure determination, the most successful businesses and business people usually have it in abundance. Peter is no exception, and is therefore a very worthy winner.

“In such a dynamic and high-achieving region, it’s always a challenge to pick out one person out for special recognition, but Peter is a clear winner.”

Mr Wilson became chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal in 1992 and has since built its Friends of the theatre initiative to 12,000.

He has overseen a number of expansions and improvements to the building, most recently the seven month renovation in 2007, which included an expanding of the front of house.

His production company PW Productions has been responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in Britain over the past 25 years, and has brought some of the best shows to the city.

He has also served as deputy lieutenant of Norfolk and was awarded an MBE. His latest ambition is to set up a theatre school.

EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: “Peter Wilson will be in good company among past winners who have not only contributed to Norfolk in economic terms, but also helped to improve the fabric of county life to make it an even better place for us all to live and work.

“His passion and ambition for the county has helped bring tens of thousands of extra visitors to the city and county and also raise its profile.”

To see the full list of EDP Business Awards finalists go to

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  • Theatre is a real asset to the city. A meal in the restaurant followed by a show is a great way to spend the evening. It does need more diverse shows though, very lacking in live music in last couple of years

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    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • Very well deserved. I have had the pleasure of meeting Peter on several occasions in my previous corporate role. He's passionate about the Arts, the role of the Theatre Royal in Norwich and Norfolk and inspires wider engagement. Well done Peter!

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    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

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