A MAN instrumental in the rise of a number of successful bands has taken on the top job at the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).

Ronnie Gurr, who has worked alongside artists such as Boy George, Simple Minds and Stereophonics, has been appointed CEO of the membership organisation.

Mr Gurr, who lives in Dunbar, was “delighted and honoured” to take on the role.

He said: “I look forward to helping shape our future activities and to working with both artists and colleagues across all of Scotland’s music businesses to assist collective progress and growth in challenging times.

“I will always communicate openly and transparently with SMIA members and I’d like to encourage the same from the membership in return.”

Mr Gurr (pictured below) will lead the SMIA’s executive team and work with the company’s board to support the country’s music industry as it recovers and grows following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ronnie Gurr has taken on a senior role within the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)

The former journalist has been part of the music industry since the 1970s.

As a teenager, he produced his own punk fanzine, Hanging Around, before going on to write for NME and Record Mirror.

He joined Virgin Records as a press officer in 1982, where he orchestrated the launch of Boy George and Culture Club and worked as an A&R manager with Simple Minds and The Big Dish.

On returning to Scotland, he became involved in artist and event management and television and radio production.

He went on to work with Sony Music’s Columbia label, where he signed Kula Shaker and worked with artists such as Michael Ball and Cypress Hill.

Mr Gurr curated the Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in 2018 and established the Hanging Around Books publishing imprint in 2017, to work with photographers and their archives in releasing rare and previously unseen images.

Sharon Mair, vice-chair of SMIA, welcomed the former Dunbar community councillor.

She said: “Ronnie brings a wealth of experience, along with a strong passion for Scotland’s music sector.

“We look forward to him working with our membership and partners on strengthening, empowering and uniting our industry, to drive recovery and growth in a post-Covid landscape.”