The fair’s parent company, the Northern Antiques Dealers Fair Limited, was sold by owners David and Louise Walker at the end of last year and the event will be relaunched this autumn as The Northern Antiques Fair.
“She was always my choice if I wasn’t doing it,” said Louise Walker, who was the Harrogate director for 34 years.
“They were looking for someone to take the reins. This is the transition they were looking for ideally," Nilson said.
It is one of six fairs Nilson is set to run this year but, she says, Harrogate will remain separate from the ADFL.
No details of the new owner have been released but changes since the sale of the Northern Antiques Dealers Fair Limited include the cancellation of the spring edition of the previously biannual event. The fair will now run only in the autumn this year (from September 27-October 1) and the spring session is under review for 2018.
The Walkers will remain involved on a consultancy basis but declared themselves “very happy” to be passing the fair into Nilson’s care.
They continue working on their other interests, but Louise said their next endeavour “will not be in the north of England and will not be antiques”. She added: “To have a successful regional fair is healthy for the business and the involvement of BADA and LAPADA is crucial.
“It’s very important that the high-quality provincial fairs continue rather than gravitating to London. There’s a big country out there.”