A North Cumbrian engineering firm has appointed a new managing director.

Tweddle Engineering, based at Kirkbride Airfield, near Wigton, announced that Joe Watson will be taking the reins of the company.

Tweddle Engineering provides bespoke machinery for the timber preservation market.

It offers services including welding, nuclear mock-ups and sawmill equipment.

With full responsibility for the leadership and development of the business, Mr Watson will play a key role in meeting the company’s growth goals, it said.

He has worked for Tweddle Engineering for 14 years.

Mr Watson, who attended Cockermouth School, joined Tweddle Engineering as a trainee project engineer in 2005. In 2006, he was promoted to general manager of its sister company Cumbria Profiling and then became a project engineer at Tweddle.

Four years later he took on the role of technical director.

Mr Watson said: “After four years of being the one who drafted the designs, I was now at the point where I was capable to have a real input into the design so was given a greater level of responsibility in this area.

“During my time in this role I started to become more involved in the operation side of the business and this led to me becoming a director and I assisted with operations and business development and in 2018 was appointed as a director.

“I am delighted at the opportunity to lead a strong team of people and focus on growing the business.

“There are many innovative developments we are currently undertaking which put us in a really strong position in the timber preservation market, I am really excited to be working on these and seeing them go to market.”

The company added: “Joe brings a strong engineering and business development skill-set to the position of managing director gained from many years’ experience in the engineering and timber industries.”

Derek Tweddle, the former managing director is still involved with the business and will take on the new position of owner/director.

It means he will be more involved in design at the firm, which he founded more than 30 years ago.

He said: “Internally we have had some realignment in the business.

“This realignment will enable us to innovate with greater speed and efficiency, futureproof the businesses and improve the speed in which we can undertake new projects.

“Joe’s new role is part of the realignment and we are looking forward to what the future for Tweddle Engineering and its associated brands hold.

“We pride ourselves on retaining talented and skilled staff.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Joe grow from within the organisation.

“We have an excellent workforce and are keen to continue to grow and aim to be one of the best employers in Cumbria.”

Tweddle Engineering has already begun a major expansion at its site.

In his spare time Joe enjoys fishing, golf and walking his dogs. Joe is soon to be a dad too.