The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich has been named winner of the Suffolk Business of the Year award, sponsored by Sizewell C, at the EADT Business Awards 2024.

Having also claimed the Positive Impact in the Community award, the judges selected the theatre as the best of all category winners on the night. 

A community hub for Ipswich and beyond, the New Wolsey offers an array of productions, projects and collaborative ventures that aim to bring joy to people in Suffolk.

Through its commitment to accessibility and sustainability, the theatre aspires to cultivate a cultural landscape that celebrates creativity and engages people from all backgrounds. 

The organisation has enjoyed remarkable growth and achievements with its environmental responsibility programme, culminating in the recent attainment of the Carbon Charter Silver award for its pioneering efforts to become a beacon of sustainability in Ipswich. 

Beyond merely mitigating its own environmental footprint, the theatre harnesses its role as a storyteller to help raise awareness. 

Commenting on their decision to name New Wolsey Theatre as Suffolk Business of the Year, the judges said: “The theatre has shown incredible resilience when faced with financial headwinds, notably the withdrawal of Suffolk County Council funding."

The judges were impressed with how the unwavering support of 80 volunteers allows more than 80,000 individuals to walk through the doors and how the theatre supports an array of key outreach initiatives. 

“The New Wolsey Theatre plays a pivotal role in the community,” they added.

Douglas Rintoul, chief executive/artistic director of the New Wolsey Theatre, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have won the East Anglian Daily Times Business of the Year Award. This recognition is especially meaningful in light of the financial challenges posed by recent funding cuts. 

“It is brilliant to see an arts organisation and charity like ours being acknowledged by the business community and regional media.”

Ellis Northrop, relationship officer, added: “To get this sort of recognition is just incredible. We didn’t expect it at all.”

The finalists

Founded in 2019, AccuGrit is the UK’s only dedicated winter maintenance service provider.

The Rickinghall-based company offers commercial gritting, snow removal and weather forecasting services, harnessing technology to help clients overcome the challenges of winter weather.

AccuGrit has also raised thousands of pounds for local causes, making a positive impact beyond its core services.

The judges praised AccuGrit’s understanding of its environmental impact, adding that the business has demonstrated “good growth and good leadership”.

Jackson Civil Engineering
Headquartered in Ipswich, Jackson Civil Engineering operates out of seven offices across England, employing around 320 staff. 

The business works for major clients such as the Environment Agency, National Highways, Canal & River Trust and Anglian Water, as well as many local authorities and private clients throughout the country.

Noting the “great growth” that Jackson has shown over the last three years, the judges said this is “due to delivering value and quality through solid leadership and clearly defined values that are visibly being met”.

About the sponsor

Sizewell C is the new nuclear power station in Suffolk which will supply six million homes with low-carbon electricity for at least 60 years. 

The project received planning consent in July 2022 and the green light for full construction in January 2024. 

Suffolk’s new power station will deliver 1,500 apprenticeships and 7,900 jobs at peak construction, with at least a third of the workforce coming from the local area. 

Once the nuclear power station is operational, it will support 900 local jobs.

Find out more about all of the winners here.

For more information on next year's EADT Business Awards, please keep your eyes peeled for updates at