What is town twinning?
Town twinning became popular soon after the end of the Second World War and to begin with, many of the twinnings were between towns from countries that had up until then, been divided by war.
Whilst twinning is not limited to the countries within the European Union, it has played a positive role in the enlargement of the European Union from its original six member states.
There are numerous advantages to the future development of the borough by celebrating and encouraging cultural links with our neighbours. Twinning brings people together, allowing citizens of the twinned towns to experience and explore other cultures. It encourages economic development and trade opportunities.
A good twinning partnership can benefit many sections of the community. On a practical level twinned towns can encourage their Chambers of Trade to link, as well as encouraging youth exchange visits. Twin towns' websites can be linked, and art or cultural exhibits can be arranged. It can also enable young people to get involved with their counterparts from a different country, helping to overcome stereotypes and encourage tolerance and understanding.
Town twinning represents a long term commitment between the partners and should transcend changes in political leadership. To this end it is important to ensure that the partnership is regularly refreshed, to make sure it meets the needs of the present day, and remains relevant and vibrant.
Twinning can take place between small villages, towns and counties, or cities and the links can be based on many different factors. There may be a similarity in the size and demographic of a town, or a similar background in commerce or manufacturing. The link may even be a similarity in the name of the town.
Twinning is no longer restricted to just two towns. Hinckley is twinned with towns in both France and Germany and there are tentative plans to twin with a town in Poland which already has links with our twin towns. Some larger towns and cities are twinned with a number of communities from around the world.
Last updated: 18/03/2013 15:26