AFTER 28 years of service, a well-known figure is retiring from a prominent agriculture and rural supplier.

Rae Tomlinson will retire as managing director of Carrs Billington Agriculture Ltd, which has a base at the Tyne Mills industrial estate in Hexham.

During his time in the company, Mr Tomlinson had worked for 18 years as financial director, before taking over the role of managing director in 2010. He is set to leave in January next year, and will be succeeded by Dr Mark Cole, who will join Carrs Billington Agriculture from ForFarmers, where he has held senior roles internationally in Poland and the Netherlands.

Dr Cole’s previous experience also includes international work on behalf of the Provimi group of companies, where he worked as a general manager running both UK-based operations as well as businesses in south-eastern Europe.

Mr Tomlinson said: “My time with Carrs Billington has been hugely rewarding and challenging. I have had the good fortune to head an excellent management team and have enjoyed the support of our shareholders. The agricultural and rural community has some clear challenges in its immediate future, notably Brexit. I am, however, convinced that British agriculture will continue to thrive. I would to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues for their hard work and endeavour during my tenure.”

Dr Cole said: “I would like to thank Rae for his commitment to the company over the last 28 years, and for leaving a sound and stable business.

“I look forward to continuing his efforts into the future.”