UK Music appoints Michael Dugher as new chief executive

Former Shadow Culture Secretary and champion of the music sector to lead UK Music

Page actions


For immediate release

27/04/2017 London, UK: UK Music, the music industry trade body, has announced that Michael Dugher, has been appointed as its new chief executive.

Michael is a former Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and has been a Labour MP for the seat of Barnsley East since 2010. He announced he was leaving the House of Commons earlier this month and he will become the third chief executive since UK Music was launched in 2008.

The appointment follows a recruitment process which began after Jo Dipple announced in January she was to step down after more than five years as chief executive. She had previously spent over three years as head of government relations.

Andy Heath MBE, chairman of UK Music, said: “Michael is a first class and dynamic choice with a proven track record as a powerful supporter of British Music – both the artists and the commercial organisations. He knows the business and politics inside out.

“Jo has been a tireless champion for the music sector and has built an organisation which is now a powerful unified voice for the industry.”

Michael said: “I'm thrilled to have been appointed chief executive of UK Music. I have engaged with the organisation for several years and have seen it go from strength to strength thanks to its board, chairman Andy Heath and previous CEOs Feargal Sharkey and Jo Dipple. There is a great team at UK Music who do brilliant work and I'm really looking forward to working with them.

“British music is a world-beating industry which brings huge economic benefits for our country. I am determined to work with all the individual members of UK Music – on the business and creator side – to ensure our industry is protected during the Brexit process and that we continue to thrive.

“Safeguarding intellectual property, protecting venues, promoting new opportunities and broadening diversity in the sector are all central to our work at UK Music.

“Music has been a lifelong passion for me and I'm looking forward to helping make a real difference as UK Music's new chief executive.”

Michael will take up his position in mid-May.

About Michael

Michael Dugher, 42, is a public affairs and communications specialist, an experienced political campaigner and an accomplished media performer with 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in government, Parliament and industry.

As MP for Barnsley East for the past seven years, Michael has spent most of that time holding senior positions in the Shadow Cabinet including as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.  He has regularly appeared on TV and radio and has written for most national newspapers and journals.

Before being elected to the House of Commons in 2010, Michael spent eight years working in Whitehall in a variety of senior roles as a Special Advisor, including at Number 10 as chief political spokesman to the Prime Minister. Michael was also previously Director of UK Government Relations for EDS (now Hewlett Packard), a global technology services company, and Head of Policy for the AEEU (now Unite the Union).

He has had a lifelong passion for music and has worked on a cross-party basis with UK Music for many years, including as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music.
A self-taught musician, he plays several instruments and still gigs regularly, including a recently performance at Liverpool’s world-famous Cavern Club.

Michael helped to establish a metropolitan festival as patron of Live In Barnsley, a not-for-profit event attracting several thousand attendees that has been nominated for a number of awards. He is patron of Worsbrough Brass, one of Yorkshire's top brass bands, and has also guest-presented a music show on local radio.

Back to news