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Win will ‘mean so much’ to team at firm named Mayor’s Business of the Year

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The chief executive of a Lynn-based firm named the Mayor’s Business of the Year has said the award “means so much” to its staff.Ian Blackman, CEO of Sealskinz, which develops and manufactures endurance accessories and is based on Oldmedow Road, made the comments after the company received the top honour at the Mayor’s Business Awards held at the Alive Corn Exchange on Friday.“It means so much to the people that work for the business because they’re the guys that do all the hard work,” he said.

Sealskinz was crowned the Mayor’s Business of the Year at the 2024 West Norfolk Mayor’s Business Awards. Pictures: Ian Burt

“There’s 80 people based in King’s Lynn, we’ve got other people around the world – it’s going to mean so much to them, that they get some recognition and this award. We’re the people on the stage but they’re the people that do the work and it’s fantastic.“It’s really lovely for them to be able to win something.”Sealskinz has seen “a lot of change and growth” over the last year, Mr Blackman added.

West Norfolk mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson with host Melvyn Prior

“The business is doing really well at the moment, we’re growing internationally, and we are adding a lot of new products to the collection and it’s going from strength to strength.“That means there’s a lot of hard work and a lot of long hours put in by everybody but the benefit of winning something like this is just the recognition for the people which is fantastic.”The award was sponsored by West Norfolk Council, with borough mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson describing choosing a winner from the finalists – also including Crown Lodge Hotel at Outwell and Downham Country Garden Store – as “very difficult”.The judges said that the award was going to a firm that had “demonstrated outstanding achievements during the past 12 months”.

West Norfolk mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson

In deciding the winner, they considered overall performance, growth, clarity of vision, a commitment to the local community, and the presence of a strong planning and strategy process.Cllr Wilkinsons said: “Once again, the entries were of a very high standard which made the judging very difficult, it’s a challenge trying to pick a winner, it involved lots of questions and discussion, but I am sure you will agree that all the nominations are worthy of recognition, it highlights the strength and depth of the local businesses here in West Norfolk.“As mayor, I get to visit many businesses and organisations, and meet so many of the talented individuals who really are making a difference. I am proud to call West Norfolk my home, it really is a great place to live and work.”

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