Regional Development Group

The Regional Development Group (RDG) acts as the interface of collaboration and partnership between YU member institutions and between universities and other partners in Yorkshire working together on place-based development.

Chair of the RDG

Dr Sarah Want

Director of Partnerships and Regional Engagement at the University of Sheffield

Sarah joined the University in 2006 and was appointed Director of Partnerships and Regional Engagement in June 2017.

Sarah’s team supports the academic delivery of partnerships, regional engagement and Vice-Chancellor-led collaborations where institutional coordination is required. The team leads on the implementation of the University’s Impact, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange strategies, runs the University’s business innovation centre, provides account management support for key partners and delivers support for Student Enterprise.  In addition, the team co-ordinates the University’s regional work program and Civic Agreement which covers all aspects of The University’s regional engagement. Under the leadership of Co-Director Professor Vanessa Toulmin the team also leads and delivers activities to improve the vibrancy and cultural life of the city, and provides support for academics to engage the public with The University of Sheffield’s research.

Previously Sarah held various roles at the University within Research & Innovation Services and the Faculty of Science. Before that, her role involved building public and private relationships for Business in the Community. Sarah is an alumnus of the University, with a PhD in civil and structural engineering.

Members of the RDG


Andrew Jones

Head of Careers, Employability and Enterprise at Leeds Arts University

Professor Cathy Barnes

Director of Research and Enterprise at Leeds Beckett University

David Warren

Chief Operating Officer at Leeds Conservatoire

Claire Newhouse

Dean of External Engagement and Impact at Leeds Trinity University

Professor Wayne M Cranton

Dean of Research at Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Liam Sutton

Associate Director, Research & Innovation at the University of Bradford

Susan Cooke

CEO of 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, University of Huddersfield

Maggie McGowan

Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Hull

Marc Eatough

Major Research Initiatives Manager the University of Leeds

Andrew Jackson

Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of York

Marc Fleetham

Director of Business Development and Knowledge Exchange at York St John University