New chief executive to take up reins of Balmoral Show
The Balmoral Show will have a new figurehead this year after its organiser appointed a new boss.
Alan Crowe, who lives in Portstewart, has been selected as the new chief executive of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS).
He is expected to be in the new job, succeeding Colin McDonald, in time for the annual farming extravaganza's 150th outing in May.
Mr Crowe, who was educated in Belfast, was former chief executive of Co-Ownership Housing and its subsidiary Own-Co for 13 years.
He attended Royal Belfast Academical Institution and studied a degree in geography at the University of Ulster.
The RUAS said Mr Crowe's wife is a farmer's daughter, and co-owner of a farm in Co Tyrone.
Mr Crowe said: "I am delighted and excited to be returning to work within the agricultural sector and look forward to working with the team at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society."
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The RUAS said Mr Crowe had previously worked for the National Farmers' Union and Mutual, "holding very fond memories of this time in his career".
The society said the responsibilities of the job would be transferred gradually from Mr McDonald, with Mr Crowe set to be in the job in time for May's show.
As head of the agricultural show for 11 years, Mr McDonald oversaw its historic move from south Belfast's King's Hall to Balmoral Park on the site of the former Maze prison outside Lisburn.
Balmoral Show attracts around 90,000 visitors annually and this year will take place from May 16 to 19.