The announcement comes following the news in July that the UKFC would be abolished by the government.

John Woodward has announced that he is to stand down as Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council.

He will leave the organisation in early November 2010, with any future plans yet to be revealed.

The decision comes during a period of uncertainty following the news that the UKFC was to be abolished in 2012. The govermnent is due to announce its plans for the film industry in October.

Although the government has solicited the assistance of the UKFC board and staff in the transition, it is likely Woodward didn’t want to muddy the waters of the transition with what might be perceived as a personal agenda nor spend the next nine months dismantling the organisation which he built up.

Woodward took up the position of CEO of the UK Film Council in November 1999. Prior to joining the UK Film Council he spent a year as director of the British Film Institute from 1998-1999, as well as serving as chief executive of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Televivsion (PACT).

Woodward was a co-founder of Skillset, the audiovisual industry’s sector skills council. He is a fellow of the Royal Television Society and a member of the Video Consultative Council of the British Board of Film Classification.

Commenting on his decision, Woodward said: “For the next few weeks the UK Film Council is in a dialogue with the Government about the future support structures for UK film. By choosing to make my position clear now, I can be objective and unconflicted throughout that process. It should then, rightly, be for others to take the new system forward and write the next chapter for UK film.

“I can’t adequately say what a privilege it has been to serve the British film industry since 2000 – and I enjoyed every minute of it up until 5.35pm on 24 July this year. I am proud of what the UK Film Council and its staff have delivered over the past decade. But now is the time to focus only on the future and ensure that whatever takes the place of the UK Film Council builds on its considerable achievements and retains the professionalism and expertise that the industry has said that it wants.”

Tim Bevan CBE, chairman of the UK Film Council, said: “For ten years, John has shown complete dedication and commitment to British cinema. Under John’s leadership the UK Film Council has consistently backed a succession of successful films and filmmakers and helped the British film industry through a period of sustained commercial and creative growth.

“In the weeks ahead, John, the Board and I will continue to stress the need for the key functions and expertise that currently sit inside the UK Film Council to be retained in one coherent structure. Once the DCMS has announced in October its plans for setting out the future of UK film, the UK Film Council will inevitably then begin a process of transition. I fully understand and respect John’s wish not to be part of that reorganisation and, on behalf of the Board and staff of the UK Film Council, I wish John every possible success as he moves on to new challenges.”

Tim Cagney, who is currently head of UK Partnerships at the UKFC will assume the role of managing director.