Ralph Ferguson, director of technical services at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, is taking a change of direction after 23 years with the council - and just one year before he plans to retire.

As part of a change of structure at the council Mr Ferguson has accepted a one-year contract to run the Mapping the Market initiative which will see more than £200m being spent in the borough in the next seven to ten years.

Once he retires at the end of this contract Mr Ferguson is hoping to spend more time on the Harley Davidson motorbikes that have been his hobby since he was 16 years old.

He said: "I am sad to be leaving the staff of my department because they are a good bunch of people, but my new job has lots of challenges ahead."