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Headshot for Dr A. Farthing.

Civic focus for Arts University Bournemouth’s new Executive Director


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Dr Anna Farthing will take up a newly established role as Arts University Bournemouth’s Executive Director of External Engagement in an organisational restructure designed to enhance the institution’s role as a civic university and engage key stakeholders.

The role will encompass the regeneration of the Palace Court Theatre, the university’s newly acquired performance space on Hinton Road in Bournemouth town centre. The theatre is a major feature of the AUB Strategy and a significant step forward in realising AUB’s ambitions as a civic university, adding value to the city-region and the national cultural offer.

Dr Farthing has contributed to major cultural regeneration projects in Hull, Salford, Torquay, and Weston-Super-Mare, and has helmed successful launch programmes for Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum, Portsmouth’s National Museum of the Royal Navy and M Shed and the Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol.

Dr Farthing’s academic interests focus on creative public engagement and knowledge exchange and include roles as a visiting fellow at Bristol University and as a research associate for the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.

The cultural producer and academic began her career as a theatre maker, before working in film, heritage, publishing and placemaking as a creative director and consultant with organisations including the National Theatre, English Heritage, National Trust, the BBC and, most recently, the NHS.

Dr Farthing said: "I am delighted to be joining AUB, and I’m excited by the vision of a civic university that is laid out in the AUB Strategy. The appetite for positive change across the region is palpable and I look forward to engaging with colleagues and external partners to develop a shared ambition for a thriving creative economy that fully embraces innovation, sustainability, health, pleasure and learning for everyone.”

Under its new strategic framework, the University’s People Plan has been strengthened to create programmes of development across technical, administrative, and professional staff teams. And through a new Partnership Plan, the institution has accelerated its commitment to partner with industry, professions, and communities, through enhanced alliances and partnerships.

The Executive Director of External Engagement will lead a range of outward-facing functions and activities across the University, helping to create, deliver and support external engagement on campus and elsewhere.

Professor Paul Gough, Vice-Chancellor at AUB, said: “We are delighted to welcome Anna to our University. Anna’s work in the role will ensure that the University’s research, knowledge exchange and business activities are harnessed to optimal value, connecting existing audiences, communities, and industries.

“We look forward to working with Anna across a range of external-facing projects, including at Bobby’s, GIANT Gallery, MoDiP (Museum of Design in Plastics), TheGallery, and our Library, Special Collections and Archives, as well as the work we are doing through AUB Open Campus and across our innovation agenda.”

AUB has recently launched its new £1.5million Innovation Studio, a world-class facility for housing innovative technical and industrial equipment for emerging new businesses, and earlier this year, the university’s on campus MoDiP museum received designated status for its plastics collection.

Read more about AUB Strategy 2030

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