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‘A real opportunity to dominate the UK’s tech sector’: MKBAA 2024 acclaims the city’s innovators

ORGANISERS and sponsors of the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards have hailed the drive, determination and creativity of the city’s innovative companies.

The 2024 awards – the tenth hosted by Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership, in association with event specialist Evolution and full service marketing agency Interdirect – drew more than 770 business guests to the gala dinner and ceremony at Stadium MK’s Marshall Arena.

And they rose to acclaim the 15 award winners on the night, headed by Bletchley Park – which also won the overall Business of the Year award (main picture)– and MK Food Bank’s operations manager Louisa Hobbs who received the Outstanding Contribution award.

The theme of this year’s awards was Forever Innovative: Milton Keynes, leading the UK’s high-tech future. MKBLP chair Nicholas Mann said: “Milton Keynes has a very real opportunity to dominate the UK’s technology sector but it must continue to be characteristically bold. Its whole must be greater than the sum of its parts and it should shamelessly promote its strengths.

“Milton Keynes needs to be on the lips of everyone in Silicon Valley when they are looking at a map of the UK, wondering where to place their next site, and it needs to be a place where local talent and entrepreneurs have the confidence to innovate, start up and scale up technology businesses that will herald siren calls to investors worldwide.”

The judging panel voted Bletchley Park as the overall winner for its work combining the stories of its wartime past as the home of the Second World War codebreakers with showcasing the emerging technologies of the future. The site also won the Culture & Arts award.

Louisa Hobbs (right), operations manager of MK Food Bank, with her award for her Outstanding Contribution to the city. She is pictured with Lisa Spearman, partner at accountancy firm Mercer & Hole, the award’s sponsor.

The Outstanding Contribution award to Louisa Hobbs was sponsored by accountants Mercer & Hole. Partner Lisa Spearman described Louisa as a “force for change in Milton Keynes” through her work with MK Food Bank during and after the pandemic. She also reflected on the food bank’s work engaging with the business community, including in its recent successful world record bid for the longest line of food cans – some 10km around Campbell Park.

“The whole city was talking about this organisation,” said Lisa.

Headline sponsors of this year’s awards were software company Aiimi, food manufacturer Brioche Pasquier, Milton Keynes City Council and the Open University.

Aiimi chief executive Steve Salvin said: “As a tech-leading city, we want the businesses based here to be early adopters and early winners. If we get this right, we can have the most competitive, transformational organisations right here in Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes City Council leader Cllr Pete Marland gave an impassioned speech in support of the city’s innovators and business community. “We are the place people come to when they want to turn ideas into reality. We are the only UK city designed from its very inception with business growth in mind.

“Every day, Milton Keynes fosters innovation, radical thinking, bravery and creativity to keep making the city the best place to live, work and visit for years to come.

“We are looking for like-minded, future-savvy companies to help make our great city even greater.”

Speaking after the ceremony, Nicholas Mann said: “It has been incredible to welcome so many guests, making it our biggest-ever awards. We had the highest number of entries this year as well, which goes to show the strength and depth within the Milton Keynes business community.”

Nicholas Mann.


The Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards 2024 winners:

Built Environment – sponsored by Milton Keynes Development Partnership
Parias Construction & Interiors Ltd

Business Impact in the Community – sponsored by MyMiltonKeynes
MK College Group

Celebrating Diversity – sponsored by Mazars
Joint winners: ID:MK and MK SNAP

Charity of the Year – sponsored by MK Community Foundation
Safety Centre (Hazard Alley)

Culture & Arts – sponsored by MK Gateway
Bletchley Park

Customer Service – sponsored by Holiday Inn Central Milton Keynes

Design & Creativity – sponsored by TC Group

Leisure & Entertainment – sponsored by Yamaha Music
Hidden Festival

Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by MHA
Ryan Evans, MK Loft Boarding

Innovation – sponsored by Niftylift

Micro Business – sponsored by TSYS
D.O.T.S. Chiropractic

New Business – sponsored by Franklins
Robinson Management Services Ltd

Professional Services – sponsored by Clearview Intelligence
Lucid Support Services

Small and Medium Business – sponsored by Jardine BMW Milton Keynes
Chameleon Love

Technology – sponsored by Helix
Agile Solutions

Business of the Year – sponsored by Handelsbanken
Bletchley Park

Outstanding Contribution Award – sponsored by Mercer & Hole
Louisa Hobbs

For full details of the event and to view a gallery of the night visit the MKBAA website here

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