We speak to Lifetime Award winner for 2016

In 2016, the ultimate accolade at the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards went to Ann Limb CBE DL, in recognition of the un-ending work that she has done over the last decade and beyond to promote Milton Keynes as a place to live, work and play.

We caught up with Ann, just over six months on from picking up the Lifetime Achievement Award, to find out what the night and the award meant to her. Ann started by talking of her surprise at hearing her name read out last March, “As those present at the 2016 dinner will testify, I simply had no idea that I was to be honoured at the MKBAA. It came as a bolt out of the blue; I vividly remember the shock and surprise of hearing my name read out, propelling my coffee cup into the air and then propelling me on to the stage.”

“It was a wonderful moment and an experience I have relived several times since. When Dr Phillip Smith responded affirmatively to my enquiry about whether to say a few words, he proffered me the microphone and I unconsciously (and embarrassingly) found myself thanking the Almighty that my evening attire was appropriately glittery and sparkly!”

She went on, “I am known for my love of and commitment to Milton Keynes, I’m regarded as a blunt speaking ‘getting things done’ sort of person – but I am also the secret bag lady of Stony Stratford and when it comes to dressing up, I mostly fall well short of the elegant sartorial heights achieved by my friends, the other female leaders of Milton Keynes. So relief all round that I looked alright on the night and on the stage as I picked up the award – because these things matter and I would not have wanted to let anyone down.”

So what’s it like to win a Lifetime Achievement Award, to be honoured by your peers in the very city that you love and have shouted about for so many years?  

“To be chosen is amazing, to follow in the footsteps of my heroes Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner and Chairman of MK Dons, Pete Winkelman is beyond imagination and to be in their esteemed company is a great honour that I cherish and for which I am profoundly grateful.”

Receiving an accolade like that must have changed you a bit, surely? Ann has a good long think... “Has it changed me? Well, on one level, No. I’m still me, doing all I can to secure the common good and promote Milton Keynes and the wider Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford area (that I now call ‘the Brain Belt of Britain’). But has it also re-emphasised for me how important it is to value and celebrate those people and companies that make Milton Keynes great? You bet it has!”

Who will win this coveted award in 2017? We’ll find out on 9 March.