Create Sheffield: our governance & history

Sophie Hunter

Our Board & governance

Leadership of the Create Sheffield charitable company comes from our Board. In 2017, members of our governance task & finish group became our steering group, and when we became a company in 2018, they became our first legal Members Board.

Our first Chair from 2016 - 2018 was Stephen Betts, from Learn Sheffield.  Stephen handed over the reins to Ian Naylor from Sheffield Music Hub when we became a company.  In March 2020 we became a charitable company, so our Members Board have now become a Board of Trustees.  With our new charitable status we plan to transition to new model of governance in the second half of 2020.

Our Board is made up of:

  • Mark Gannon, Sheffield City Council
  • Amy Bannister, Music Education student at the University of Sheffield
  • Stephen Betts, Learn Sheffield
  • Jamie Butcher, IVE (observer)
  • Karen Dunn, Education and Inclusion Consultant
  • Margot Walker, Cultural Development Consultant (vice-chair)
  • Ian Naylor, Sheffield Music Hub (chair)
  • James Smythe, Sheffield College
  • Edward Mackay, Music in the Round
  • Rachael Walton, Third Angel

Within our Articles of Association, we plan to have two young people (aged 18-24) on our Board.  Our youth voice strategy (currently being delivered by Chilypep) is addressing the best and most meaningful way to go about this.

How did we get here?

The Sheffield Cultural Education Partnership began developing in June 2016. We have built the Partnership with a huge range of organisations, through a large number of one to one meetings, and a series of consultation workshops both with the arts and education sectors, and with young people. We've had support both from IVE (the Arts Council England’s Bridge organisation in Yorkshire and the Humber) and from Learn Sheffield, who have included the development of cultural education in their Sheffield Priorities for education.

Throughout 2017, we ran seven simultaneous task and finish groups with more than 70 individuals involved, representing a vast range of organisations from across the city. We worked with colleagues from the voluntary & community sectors, schools, universities, creative digital, heritage, theatre, circus, music, libraries and museums amongst others. Each task and finish group focused on a different area of work to develop the partnership: governance, communication, resources, research, finance, training and forward planning. Our governance group became our first steering group.

Launch conference

The Create Sheffield launch conference was held on Friday 2nd February 2018 at the Crucible Theatre.  Shortly afterwards, we realised that in order to ensure that safeguarding was robust across the Partnership, we would need to become a company limited by guarantee.  This process took months, and slowed down proceedings (which had been motoring along nicely until that point!).

Becoming a company

In October 2018 Create Sheffield finally became a legal entity.  In February 2019 we began trading, having secured funds for our first 3 years to set up the systems and processes to make this Partnership work.  We have been fortunate to recieve funding from a range of different providers; the most significant pot of money is Partnership Investment from IVE as the Arts Council England's Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber. They have 100% matched all other funding we were able to gather from across the city: from Learn Sheffield, Virtual School, Sheffield College, Sheffield Hallam University, Counter Context, Museums Sheffield and Sheffield Theatres.  We are very grateful to all of our funders for their support.


In April 2019, Sophie Hunter started working for Create Sheffield as the Programme Manager.  In March 2020, she was joined by Daina Heaton as Administrator.  Thanks to our links with Sheffield Hallam, they are based in the Charles Street building, Institute of Education.