A SUCCESSOR to the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire has been appointed.

Nigel Atkinson will succeed Dame Mary Fagan when she retires from the role on September 11 this year.

Dame Mary, from Deane, near Oakley, has held the post for more than 20 years.

Mr Atkinson has been a Deputy Lieutenant since 1999, and has been the Vice Lord-Lieutenant since 2007. His principal duties are to represent The Queen in Hampshire, as well as arranging visits for the Royal family, presenting honours and awards, and to encourage charitable giving in the county.

He said: “It is a privilege and an honour to succeed Dame Mary as Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and I much look forward to working with the county council, the voluntary and charitable sector, the Armed Forces, businesses and other important bodies to help further the interests of Hampshire in the coming years.

“I follow in the footsteps of an outstanding Lord-Lieutenant whose work has touched many different areas of life across the county.

“She and her husband, Captain Christopher Fagan, carried out their duties with integrity, commitment and good humour, and I, along with many others, would like to pay tribute to that.”

Dame Mary said: “I am delighted that Nigel will succeed me as Lord-Lieutenant. He has done an excellent job as my Vice Lord-Lieutenant and I know that he will serve Her Majesty The Queen very well.”

Mr Atkinson, 60, from Petersfield, served in the Royal Green Jackets before pursuing a business career which included being chief executive of Gales Brewery.

The role is non-political and unpaid.