THE successor to Dame Mary Fagan as the new Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire has been announced.

Nigel Atkinson, deputy lieutenant since 1999 and the vice lord lieutenant for Hampshire since 2007, will take over from Dame Mary when she retires on September 11.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry, said: “As Her Majesty’s representative in the County, the Lord Lieutenant has a very special position, and we have been remarkably well-served over the past twenty years by Dame Mary Fagan who has discharged the role with tremendous grace, charm and commitment - earning her a very special place in Hampshire’s history. The County Council has sought to commemorate her service in various ways, not least by naming our hub office in Basingstoke as Dame Mary Fagan House.

“Nigel Atkinson, as Vice Lieutenant, has discharged his role in an admirable way and has been a great support to the Lieutenancy and to the county in general, and it is absolutely appropriate that he now steps up to the top job. I am delighted to learn that he is to be appointed to this important role, and as he is former Chief Executive of Gales Brewery, it might be appropriate for people of Hampshire to raise a glass to toast the announcement!

"I have written to Nigel Atkinson congratulating him on the appointment and assured him that the County Council will continue to give support to the Lieutenancy.”