Feargal Sharkey has been appointed CEO of British Music Rights and Andy Heath has become chairman of the body, which represents 50,000 U.K. composers, songwriters and publishers.

Sharkey, the former Undertones singer and solo artist, has recently chaired the government's Live Music Forum and he has been charged with pushing forward the commitment to establish a network of professionally equipped community rehearsal spaces for young people. In his new role, he takes over from former British Music Rights CEO Emma Pike, who left in August 2007.

"BMR has a very well deserved reputation as a progressive industry voice, whether taking the lead on policy matters, its long-term vision for collective licensing and the digital business or its range of social and educational programmes. My intention is to build on these and move this industry forward - with particular regards to new media and technology," said Sharkey in a statement. "Over the past decade, creators have provided the fuel for countless new digital services and it is essential that the contributions of songwriters, composers and publishers are fully recognised. We look forward to a year of innovation, and working with technology partners and government to find common solutions that are mutually beneficial to all consumers and creators."

Andy Heath founded the publishing company 4AD Music in 2001 and he previously ran Momentum Music. Heath was president of the Music Publishers Association between 1993 and 1997 and he is currently a director of Beggars Group - home of Radiohead for their current album "In Rainbows" and the White Stripes - and broadband ISP music service Playlouder MSP. He is also a board member of the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society.

"The necessity for our industry to speak in one coherent voice has become increasingly apparent, as is the need to reiterate the value of intellectual property in the 21st century and embrace the demands of 21st century consumers," said Heath in a statement. "Feargal and the team will ensure that British Music Rights brings a fresh dynamic and clarity to the voice of the British music community, and by that, I mean the creator, the consumer, and those of us in the industry who bring the two together."

Heath replaces Leslie Hill who retired at the end of last year. Both appointments come into effect on February 1.

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