Robin said: “I want to pursue other interests and opportunities and now the Trust is firmly established I feel it's the right time for me to move on and a perfect time for the Trust to have a new leader.”
He added: “It has been a privilege to lead these two great organisations and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. Having agreed the transfer of the waterways into the Third Sector together with £500m of endowment property and a 15 year funding agreement from government, the Trust is on a more secure financial footing with a more positive outlook than we've probably ever had.
“I will always be grateful for the encouragement and support of a great many people both inside and outside of the Trust who have helped lay what I believe are the foundations for a strong and vibrant future for our much loved waterways.”
Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, said: “Robin told us in November that he intended to step down in May and we will be very sorry to lose him. He has served with great dedication and inspirational vision. His determination to see that vision realised in the foundation of the Trust, has transformed the long term prospects for the waterways. The former Board of British Waterways and the current Trustees wish him well and thank him for his outstanding contribution to the canals and rivers we all love.”
The Trustees will now begin the search for a new chief executive and more details will be announced shortly.
Tony Hales has been asked by Trustees to stay on as chair to help ensure a smooth transition and he has kindly agreed to do so.