David Bintley, Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, has won the culture category in the prestigious Midlander of the Year 2002 awards.
A panel of judges comprised of Carlton representatives and its media partners chose Mr Bintley as one of 13 winners who have done most to increase the prestige of the Midlands and made an outstanding contribution to all walks of life in the region.
The ceremony took place last night at the Hippodrome and will be televised tomorrow evening.
Ian Squires, Carlton's managing director for the Central region, said: "Tonight we have celebrated 13 Midlanders of whom everyone in the region can be rightly proud."
Gary Megson (pictured), manager of West Bromwich Albion Football Club, was awarded the Central West Midlander of the Year award for his success in getting the club promoted to the Premiership.
Nominations for the award began in April 2002 with Central News and the Midlands' press, including The Birmingham Post profiling nominees throughout the rest of last year.
The original Midlander of the Year award was set up by brewers Mitchells and Butlers in 1969 and sponsored by Bass until 1998 before being replaced by Carlton. The ten category winners are:
**Sporting Midlander of the Year 2002 : Paula Radcliffe, Athlete (for services to international sport)
**Lifetime Midlander of the Year 2002 : Robert Plant, Musician (for services to music and young people)
**Birmingham University Lifelong Learning Midlander of the Year 2002 : Professor Tim Brighouse, Retired Chief Education Officer, Birmingham City Council (for services to educational standards)
**Community Midlander of the Year 2002 : Michelle Lewis MBE, Wheelchair Athlete (for services to charitable fundraising)
**Cultural Midlander of the Year 2002 : David Bintley CBE, Artistic Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet (for services to the arts)
**Innovation Midlander of the Year 2002 : Professor Mike Topping, Inventor and Academic (for services to innovation and people with disabilities)
**Young Business Midlander of the Year 2002 : Karl George, Director of Andersons KBS (for services to business and the black community)
**Rural Enterprise Midlander of the Year 2002 : Izzy Warren-Smith, Senior Lecturer, Rural Economics and Management, Harper Adams University College (for services to the rural economy)
**Business Leadership Midlander of the Year 2002 : Tony Sealey, Chair, West Midlands Ethnic Minority Business Forum (for services to the leadership of back and minority enterprise)
**Arts Leadership Midlander of the Year 2002 : Professor Ray Cowell, Vice Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University (for services to the development of arts in the East Midlands)