John Stalker, chief executive of the Festival City Theatres Trust which runs Edinburgh’s Festival and King’s theatres, has announced his resignation with effect from the end of June.

In a written statement, Stalker said: “I have had ten hugely enjoyable years at the helm of these two great theatres and worked with a remarkable team of people to bring artists and audiences together. It’s now time to hand over to a new leader who can take the theatres forward to new heights of achievement. I intend to return to theatre production in the independent sector and the support and development of new and emerging artists.”

Clackmannanshire born Stalker, has been in the role since 2002. Previously he was Chief Executive at Birmingham Rep. Stalker is also vice President of the Theatrical Management Association.

He has fought for the refurbishment of the ailing King’s Theatre and a scaled back renovation programme is underway. Stalker has also been responsible for a move into production, which has seen major stagings of The Secret Garden and Corstorphine Road Nativity at the Festival Theatre.

Chris Masters, chairman of the trust, said: “John has made a major contribution to the trust over his ten years as chief executive. It has been a personal pleasure to work with him and all at the trust wish him well in the future.”

The trust said the process to appoint Stalker’s successor would start immediately but it is looking to appoint an interim chief executive from outside the trust.