Friday, 2 May 2014

FTU Bids for Regional Study

The VC and PVCs of FTU, getting into the Dickensian spirit
It may surprise readers to learn that the announcement of an AHRC/Design Council funding call focussed on Bristol/Bath was greeted with fevered excitement at Fundermental Towers University. You might reasonably have thought that, whilst FTU had expanded its sphere of influence to the very edges of the Kentish peninsular through its strategic 'R2D2' collaboration with Ebbsfleet White Horse (Unrampant), Snodhurst and Deangate Ridge Golfing Academy, this call was too geographically remote to be of interest to FTU. Not so.

'This is a wonderful day for parochialism', gushed Professor Gymslip Plimsole, Vice-Chancellor of FTU. 'What the AHRC and Design Council are doing is sending out a clear message that they are interested in regional self interest. And nowhere does regional self interest like FTU.'

'Apparently Bristol and Bath were selected for the study because they are known for their strengths in the creative digital economy, as well as the fact that 90% of their population live and work in the local area.

'We, on the other hand, are behemoths in the creative Dickens economy. Rochester hosts the Dickens Discovery Rooms in the Guildhall Museum, has a Dickens Christmas Market, and holds an annual Dickens Festival. Many of the houses where Dickens was known to occasionally drink tea, sneeze or even look at now have plaques commemorating the fact. And need I mention the cutting edge Dickens World theme park down the road?

'Better still, we can outdo Bath and Bristol in our stagnatory population. I would say 100% - perhaps even 105% -  of the population live and work in the area. No one ever seems to leave.

'Yes, we are ripe for a three quarters of a million pound regional study,' concluded Plimsole. 'Now if you'll excuse me, I think I can hear the phone ringing. It must be Rick Rylance trying to get though.'

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