Meet the team

Professor Vanessa ToulminProfessor Vanessa Toulmin
Director of City and Cultural Engagement

Vanessa heads up the team, setting the vision and strategy and leading on city & cultural engagement at the institution. Cultural engagement is a key third of the University's three strand delivery of work within the city region under the leadership of Pro-Vice-Chancellor Richard Jones, and in partnership with Research and Innovation Services.

Vanessa chairs Renew Sheffield and the Culture Consortium which, in partnership with the University, is delivering and programming the Year of Making in Sheffield in 2016. She is the academic lead for the University’s Public Engagement & Impact team and is the Director of Festival of the Mind, the bi-annual showcase of the University’s world class research engagement.

After 21 years of leading the National Fairground Archive for the University of Sheffield Library, Vanessa will be concentrating on her academic work as Chair of Early Film and Popular Entertainment and will be stepping down from the day-to-day management of the National Fairground Archive from January 2016.

Lesley AllenLesley Allen
Finance, Project and Office Manager

Lesley is responsible for financial management and controls for all projects, and she manages the City and Cultural Engagement Office in its day to day operations. Lesley is the Project Manager for the team’s engagement work, managing renovation and building aspects of projects, budgeting and partnerships. She organises festivals and supports events, such as Year of Making, Tramlines, Mobile University, and Festival of the Mind which in 2014 engaged over 27,000 members of the public. Lesley’s role also encompasses the university’s ongoing work in wider city initiatives, such as the Castlegate project, Love Square and ReNew.

With over 20 years of experience working at the University of Sheffield, Lesley has previously worked at the National Fairground Archive overseeing their annual programme of events, financial matters and office management. Lesley has also worked for the Students' Union Finance team, at an insurance brokers and at various building societies providing mortgage and investment advice. Lesley has gained qualifications for Prince 2 project management and is currently in year 2 of her accountancy studies.

Kylie CrossKylie Cross
Part-time Administrator (Wednesday – Friday)

Kylie will be supporting project, financial and administrative work for the City and Cultural Engagement office, in addition to providing diary management for Professor Vanessa Toulmin.

Kylie has worked in the University Payments Team as a financial administrator and previously supported the Clinical Trials Research Unit. She has an NVQ in business administration, experience of content management systems and URMS costings, and holds a BSc in Property Studies.