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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

'It's opened my eyes to Norfolk's business strength' - Winner of Business of the Year shocked to take home title

PUBLISHED: 12:26 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:01 23 November 2018

JD Cooling Group won the overall Business of the Year title. From left: Tim Seeley of sponsor Barclays, John Dye, Caroline Dye, Wendy Rigwood, Robert Keal. Picture: I Do Photography

JD Cooling Group won the overall Business of the Year title. From left: Tim Seeley of sponsor Barclays, John Dye, Caroline Dye, Wendy Rigwood, Robert Keal. Picture: I Do Photography

Archant

The winner of the overall Business of the Year title admitted he had been taken aback at the strength of talent on show at the Norfolk Business Awards - and had been shocked that his firm had taken home the trophy.

Norfolk Business Awards 2018. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.Norfolk Business Awards 2018. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.

John Dye, founder of King’s Lynn-based JD Cooling Group, called the accolade “a real privilege” after seeing the other companies on show.

The firm was awarded the trophy after an 18-year journey which has seen it develop from a one-man operation to a national player with five offices, more than 100 staff and a turnover topping £20m.

As he accepted the award, Mr Dye said: “What a fantastic evening it’s been tonight. It’s opened my eyes to what a fantastic group of businesses we’ve got in Norfolk.

“I feel a bit lost in such great company. Thank you to everybody here for doing what you do - for yourselves, for your employees and for the community at large.”

Speaking afterward, he added: “We are a national business so we have not always looked up and around us at the local area.

“We do about 10% of our business in the county but to see the standard of businesses here at the awards has been fantastic, and a real privilege. To win this award in that company really means a massive amount.”

The three other finalists in the Business of the Year category, which was sponsored by Barclays were Black Swan International, Mills & Reeve and One Traveller.

Judges said of JD Cooling Group: “This company is one of the largest independent contractors in its sector in the UK, growing from a one-man band 18 years ago to now employing 100 people across five regional sites.

“Its growth, strong profitability and excellent customer service feedback has been achieved by being a totally people-focused business, the extent to which I have not seen before.

“Since 2007, the company has invested in 34 apprentices, 32 of whom remain in the business today. Six of this cohort have been recognised with national apprenticeship awards alongside a number that have gone on to become senior managers in the business.

“The company’s innovative incentive scheme and shared company ownership has enabled the director to build a very strong, capable team and to deliver an industry-leading approach to its customer base.

“The company pioneered solutions in the cooling and refrigeration sectors long before the competition.”

Read more about the other winners from the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

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