Nigel Atkinson will be the new Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, taking over from Dame Mary Fagan, who retires on September 11 after more than 20 years’ service.

The lord lieutenant is the Queen’s representative in the county, responsible for arranging and attending royal visits to Hampshire.

Mr Atkinson’s responsibilities will also include presenting honours and awards, being vice-chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace, supporting reserve forces, cadets, and charities.

At present, Dame Mary is president or patron of more than 60 organisations in the county.

Mr Atkinson, 60 has been a deputy lieutenant since 1999 and vice lord lieutenant since 2007 He served in the Royal Green Jackets before pursuing a business career and was chief executive of Horndean-based Gales Brewery, which was bought by Fuller’s in 2005.

More recently he has held a portfolio of non-executive appointments.

Mr Atkinson has been the non-executive chairman of South East Enterprise Agencies and chairman of St John Ambulance Hampshire.

He continues to serve as county vice-president of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, trustee of Winchester Cathedral and Honorary Colonel of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force.

The father-of-three, who lives near Petersfield, is also a patron for the Rainbow Centre in Fareham, which was recently saved from closure when £150,000 was raised in two months.

Mr Atkinson said the role was a “privilege and an honour”.

“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,” he added.

He also paid tribute to Dame Mary’s work saying that she and husband Captain Christopher Fagan had “carried out their duties with integrity, commitment and good humour”.

Dame Mary said she was “delighted” adding: “He has done an excellent job as my vice lord lieutenant and I know that he will serve Her Majesty The Queen and the county very well.”