Carlisle Airport owner Stobart Group's former chief executive Andrew Tinkler has sold more than 1m of his shares in the business.

Mr Tinkler - who held the top job from the firm's stock market listing in 2007 until June - has said he wants to "re-balance his interests" in the company and its new Stobart Capital division, which he is in charge of.

He sold 1.25m shares at a price of 291.05p each, a total sale of almost £3.64m.

This means he retains 27.2m of the company's 354.3m shares, 7.7 per cent of the total.

Stobart Group chairman Iain Ferguson said: "Andrew divides his time between his roles as an executive director of Stobart Group and as executive chairman of Stobart Capital, which was established to identify and develop investment opportunities for Stobart Group.

"The Stobart Group Board anticipates situations where it would welcome an investment commitment from Andrew alongside its own, and his planned share sales will enable him to make such investments."

Stobart Group can trace its roots to the 1970s when it began as an offshoot of an agricultural contracting business in Hesket Newmarket.

It sold a majority stake in Eddie Stobart three years ago to concentrate on other interests principally aviation, warehousing and biomass.

Earlier this year it submitted plans to develop the runway and terminal at Carlisle Airport as part of a bid to bring international passenger flights to Belfast, London Southend and Dublin, which could be taking off by summer 2018.

This has been supported by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is set to invest £4.75m.