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Andy Heath to leave UK Music

By | Published on Thursday 12 December 2019

UK Music

Just days after the CEO of cross-sector trade group UK Music, Michael Dugher, announced his departure from the organisation, its Chair Andy Heath has followed him.

Music publisher Heath has overseen UK Music since it was created in 2008, it morphing out of an earlier organisation called British Music Rights that brought together songwriters and publishers and their collecting society PRS. UK Music, chaired by Heath and initially run by Feargal Sharkey, expanded that concept by also bringing in trade groups representing labels, musicians and managers. The live sector subsequently joined in too.

“The time is right for me to make way for a successor”, says Heath. “Indeed, I intended to step down before Michael Dugher was appointed [in 2017], but felt it was right to support Michael in his, then, new post. I’m THRILLED that I did that as UK Music has risen to new achievements under his leadership. Building on the impressive legacy of [previous CEO] Jo Dipple, UK Music is now a truly respected organisation in Westminster, Whitehall, the media and within the industry itself”.

“I’m immensely proud to have been part of the UK Music story, but I have to mention the part that Feargal Sharkey played all those years ago”, he continues. “We did it together and it has been a privilege to build what we have today. When we started legislators and commentators generally regarded the music industry in a very confused and not always complimentary light. We did not have the ear of government and were seen as a slightly disreputable industry”.

“That has all changed now and it is entirely down to the members of UK Music finding and expressing a common and constructive voice, which is now, not only heard, but sought out for information and opinion”, he concludes. “The value to the Treasury is now also universally accepted”.

Indeed, the top line stat contained in UK Music’s annual report on the value of the music business to the British economy is regularly repeated back to the industry by politicians. And this year that big stat increased sharply, as the organisation re-jigged its methodology to include a broader range of music-related companies.

Heath will actually stand down as UK Music chair next year. The also-not-quite-out-of-the-door-yet Dugher commented on Heath’s departure: “Personally, I think he should now be deployed to sort out the Middle East peace process”.

As far as we know, Heath has no current plans to do that, and will instead continue in his main role as the chair of Beggars Music.

Replacements for Heath and Dugher are yet to be announced.