Trustees of Museums Sheffield

Museums Sheffield is a charity governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees:


John CowlingChair - John Cowling

John Cowling is a Chartered Accountant. He retired from PriceWaterhouseCooper in 2012 having been partner with the firm for over 20 years. He was the Senior Partner of the Sheffield office and a member of the firm's Northern leadership scheme; during his 30 year career with the firm he worked in London, New York and nearly all of the firm’s northern offices.

While at PwC, John gained a wide variety of industry experience, from manufacturing companies to retailers and the service sector. He has worked with clients ranging from small privately owned businesses to large, publicly owned, multi-national corporations.

John brings local business connections and commercial advice to the board as well as financial skills. He is a strong support of business involvement in the community and was for a number of years Chairman of BITC in South Yorkshire. He is currently the Chair of Music in the Round, the national chamber music charity based in Sheffield.

John Biggin
John Biggin

John was born in Sheffield and educated at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant he became a junior partner of Pannel Kerr Forster before leaving to join the Eardley Group in 1969. This company became British Syphon Industries plc when he was appointed financial director and chairman of the manufacturing division. In the last 15 years before retirement in 2010 he was financial director of the Fretwell Downing Group in Sheffield.

He has spent 9 years as a Member of Council of Sheffield University as well as serving on the Finance Committee and Audit Committee where he remains a member.He is Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Studies and AMRC Management Ltd both within the University.

In 2006/07 he was High Sheriff of South Yorkshire and from that experience he was appointed to the board of Sheffield People United Against Crime and also Paces, which runs a school for children with Cerebral Palsy where he is now Chairman. For 10 years ending 2008 he was Chairman of the Sheffield Diocesan Board of Finance and is now on the Finance and Development Committees of Sheffield Cathedral.

His personal interests are painting,music, walking, his garden and, of course, his family.

Darren Chouings FRSA

Darren Chouings

Darren Chouings studied at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating in 2008 with a first class degree in Contemporary Fine Art. His career to date has included a multitude of roles spanning across higher education, animation, contemporary arts curation and production management.

Having started his own international arts events programme PRISM in 2008, Darren later took on events management roles at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sensoria, Lovebytes and Algomech. As an experienced events professional, he now leads production for The Children’s Media Conference and also the new children's media exhibition Playground.

Darren is passionate about startup business development and leads on startup support for social entrepreneurs at The University of Sheffield. Alongside supporting the development of these businesses, Darren has designed and delivered various education programmes that support local enterprise and international partner institutions. This support has been delivered in the UK and also to both Central Asian and South Korean Universities.

Darren is now an associate lecturer in Design at Sheffield Hallam University and is passionate about Sheffield’s CDI sector and all things related to Media, Arts and Culture.

Maxine Greaves MBE

Maxine Greaves

Maxine Greaves is Equality and Community Engagement Manager at Sheffield Hallam University.

Through her work as a practitioner and researcher she has developed projects to improve the educational experience of vulnerable and socially excluded young people in South Yorkshire. Her tireless work to improve equality and community engagement, were recognised by the Queen in her birthday honours (2011).

She is the lead co-ordinator in a collaborative project to progress innovative educational provision for Black and Minority Ethnic adults working as Teaching Assistants and is the founder of Men up North, a forum dedicated to the exploration of the creation of patriarchy, and the emotional, cultural, narratives relating to the societal positioning of masculinity. 

Maxine is the Co-Chair of the newly established Race Staff Network (RsN) at Sheffield Hallam University, which provides a structured way for staff and students to feed race issues to the University Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She is also a Steering Group Member of the Higher Education Race Advisory Group (HERAG), leading on extending it to other regional areas and exploring regional difference in race equality.

Councillor Dianne Hurst

Dianne Hurst

Dianne has served as a Councillor for the Richmond Ward since 2016, having previously been an Elected Member for Darnall Ward. She took her Bachelors degree BA in Economic and Social History at the Sheffield University and later, an MSc in Strategic Management at Sheffield Hallam. She won the Sheffield Institute of Management prize for her work on this degree, while simultaneously working full time, raising a family and caring for her mother.

Dianne's first job was as a research assistant for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers in South Yorkshire, before moving on to become a housing manager in the public sector. She became increasingly involved in growing the strength of communities and moved on to area working, looking to develop a role for communities in their own destiny and regeneration; becoming a Partnership Manager in Rotherham before completing the circle as the Housing Manager at Action, a charity and supported housing association.

Having a fondness for canals, when British Waterways became a charitable trust, Dianne was elected as a member of the inaugural Partnership Board for the North Eastern area of the Canal and River Trust and helped in the development of community engagement policies.

She hopes to bring her experience and belief in communities to her work with Museums Sheffield, making the experience, enjoyment and learning possible through museums open and available to all.

Neil MacDonald

Neil MacDonald

After graduating from Sheffield University in 1977, Neil qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG. He left in 1987 to join what was to become Firth Rixson. Neil spent 20 years at the aerospace group, the majority as Group Finance Director. He oversaw a period of rapid growth when it was a listed business, making numerous acquisitions in the UK and America. In 2002 he led the public to private transaction which saw Firth Rixson acquired by the US private equity house, Carlyle. After leading a successful exit for Carlyle in 2006, Neil “retired”.

Since then, Neil has undertaken numerous roles in the public, private and third sector as chair, non executive director and trustee. He was Master Cutler in 2012/13. He is currently an independent governor and pro chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University, where he also chairs the Finance and Employment Committee. He is a private sector board member on the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. Neil is also chair of the board of trustees at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and Chair of Governors at Sheffield Springs Academy.

Neil has been involved in arts and culture locally for many years, stepping down from the Sheffield Theatres Board in 2016 after 12 years. During his year of office as Master Cutler in 2012/13, Neil chaired the Steering Group that oversaw the programme of activities celebrating the centenary of the discovery of stainless steel by Harry Brearley, working closely with Museums Sheffield. Neil has been on the Board of Yorkshire Artspace since 2014, serving as chair for two years.

Patrick Meleady   

Patrick Meleady Patrick Meleady is the Manager of Pitsmoor Adventure Playground, which is a multi-ward winning inner city Adventure Playground that has been identified nationally and internationally as being an exemplar for play, open access and family and community support provision.

Through his related roles and responsibilities Patrick supports access to the Arts, Leisure and Culture for vulnerable and marginalised children, young people, their families and communities. He also develops and delivers on a wide range of artistic and cultural activities, events and cultural festivals not only in the Burngreave area but throughout the City and further afield too.

Patrick was previously the manager of the Sheffield City Council Positive Activities for Young People and a Manger in the Sheffield Community Safety Team . These roles necessitated him also managing staff teams, budgets and Government initiatives as well as innovating projects which were later replicated throughout the UK as exemplars of best practice in their respective fields.

Ian Proctor

Ian Proctor

Ian is Head of Executive Education and MBA Programmes Manger at The University of Sheffield Management School.  

Ian has held several positions in the past at the university, all related to the development of relationships with business and the exploitation of university knowledge for the benefit of society.  

Ian enjoys long distance walking and has completed several long distance challenge walks,  he is also an active member of Sheffield Civic Trust.

Arnie Singh

Arnie Singh

Arnie is the Managing Director and Owner of City Taxis, one of the largest taxi companies in the UK. He is a dedicated and results-driven MD with a highly successful background in the achievement of profitable business growth through the creation and execution of successful sales and marketing strategies. Arnie is experienced in working with leading brands/companies on a local level with the primary focus on exceeding expectations for customer service delivery while ensuring optimum brand impact.

Arnie was born and raised in Sheffield and studied for a Music degree and a Master’s degree in Leisure Management at the University of Sheffield. Arnie’s career began working as a Secondary School Music Teacher at Tapton School in Sheffield. He is involved with other business interests apart from City Taxis, and thrives on taking an idea and making it work with other like-minded people. In 2016 he was awarded Sheffield Business Person of the year by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

Arnie is a keen golfer and a life-long passionate supporter of Sheffield Wednesday FC. He also sits on the board of Sheffield Theatres, is an elected council member for the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the Mercia Learning Trust.

Share this: Facebook Twitter