The board of Business Link Surrey - the county's leading business support service - has announced the appointment of Dr Peter Evans as its new chairman.

Dr Evans takes up his appointment with immediate effect, succeeding Colston Herbert who is stepping down because of pressures from his other business commitments.

Business Link Surrey managing director Rosemary French said: "I am absolutely delighted that Peter has accepted this challenging position at this time.

"Our service to Surrey business is set to leap forward once again and Peter's considerable experience will be of enormous value to us."

Following a distinguished career with Unilever, including board positions with Lever Brothers and Lever Europe, Dr Evans spent a period as managing director of the drinks company The Gaymer Group.

He then decided he wanted to use his experience in a positive way within the Surrey business community and joined Surrey Business Enterprise as a volunteer adviser helping new and developing businesses capitalise on their potential. He later became an SBE board member.

Dr Evans subsequently joined the board of Business Link Surrey, focusing particularly on the link with Enterprise Agencies and the support that is offered to start-up and young businesses. With the move the chairman, he will resign from the SBE board.

Dr Evans said: "I am impressed with the results of Business Link Surrey with so many businesses of all kinds benefiting from their service.

"We have exciting plans to strengthen the service and I am looking forward to working with Business Link staff and their partners to achieve this."

To find out about the services offered by Business Link Surrey and Surrey Business Enterprise, call the Business Link Surrey help desk on 0845 7494949.