Spar UK has announced that Martin Agnew, joint managing director of the Henderson Group, will take over as chairman of the Spar Food Distributors (SFD) Board this month.

He takes over the mantle from AF Blakemore managing director Peter Blakemore, who has held the position since 1991. Blakemore will continue to be a director on the SFD Board and will represent Spar in the UK on the International Spar Board.

Martin Agnew, who was previously chairman of the National Guild, a position he held since 2005, will lead the SFD Board towards a renewed and shared vision for Spar.

Agnew said: “Spar is radically changing as an organisation in order to meet the needs of our retailers in the future. The first step in our process has been to reduce the cost of membership.

“Over the past months, we have announced many different low-cost model packages for our retailers. We are also working on a number of other exciting strategies to develop the Spar business and I look forward to the challenge of guiding the strategic thinking of SPAR in the future.”

Meanwhile, James Hall & Co director Dominic Hall will take over from Agnew as chairman of the National Guild, and Debbie Robinson started as Spar UK managing director on September 5.