Mike Rodd from Aldbourne, near Marlborough, has been named as the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust’s first general manager.

Mr Rodd will formally take up his post on March 1 but he has offered his services as a volunteer for two days a week until then.

Mr Rodd, who lives with his wife Sue in Aldbourne, will join the canal trust when he retires from the British Computer Society in Swindon, where he is director of learned society and external relations.

He is an active boater and owns a narrowboat, which is currently moored on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

The new role of general manager was set up following a reorganisation of the trust after the resignation of chairman Brian Poulton.

Mr Rodd will be responsible for the trust and its trading company, with a target to achieve a notable and sustainable increase in growth and activity along the length of the canal from Reading to Bristol.

A contribution to the salary of the post has been secured through an award of £75,000 from Kennet District Council’s community development committee, to be paid over three years.