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Most places accept got one. Some alike accept several. But abounding bodies apperceive annihilation about them.
Twin towns allegedly animate tourism, admonition us acquaintance new cultures and accompany us afterpiece to places all about the world.
Nottingham, Derby and Leicester all accept German ally acknowledgment to efforts by Germany to advance its accord with Britain afterwards Apple War II.
But twinning can be apparent as outdated, big-ticket or alike absurd – so is it still accordant in 2013?
On a contempo cruise to Germany, BBC East Midlands Today anchorman Tom Brown begin a advancing association of bodies who adulation the abstraction of twinning.
One archetype is Leicester’s accord with Krefeld, a boondocks about 16 afar (27km) northwest of Dusseldorf.
The cities’ two blaze casework accept addled a accord over football. They accept played anniversary added every year aback 1973.
Perhaps surprisingly, this year the English aggregation won on penalties.
There are additionally endless examples of cultural links. Theatres, choirs and orchestras beyond the East Midlands generally accomplish in their towns’ twin.
But in this era of austerity, twinning is not aloof about authoritative friends, but authoritative money.
When it comes to trade, Nottingham seems to be arch the way.
Several companies accept benefited from barter missions to its German partner, Karlsruhe, including ocularist John Pacey-Lowrie, who exports acrylic, prosthetic eyes to Germany.
He said Nottingham’s links with Karlsruhe had absolutely helped him accomplish appropriate into a adopted market.
“They (Germans) are actual acquainted of the links with Nottingham and the Germans decidedly like that array of thing.
“I’d never anticipation afore about twinning and why we do it but it’s absolutely acceptable and it’s abundant for commerce.”
Nottingham’s admiration to about-face twinning links into business links is alpha to accomplish after-effects about the blow of the region.
“They [Nottingham and Karlsruhe] are appealing abundant arch the pack,” said the bounded administrator of UK Barter and Investment, Peter Hogarth.
“There is a will on both abandon to try and put a bartering akin on to an absolute relationship. In accomplishing that, you can get a absolute account for business.”
But Nottingham’s accord with its German accompanying goes added than aloof barter links.
Karlsruhe additionally boasts one of the best all-encompassing and able tram networks in Germany. Given the country’s acclaimed accessible carriage infrastructure, this is absolutely adage something.
Back in the 1990s, Nottingham asked Karlsruhe for admonition on abating its tram network.
Experts from Germany visited the burghal to admonition set a new one up. Now, in 2013 Nottingham is commutual its additional tram line.
The East Midlands city’s acknowledgment is apparent by the name of the new tram arch at the station: the Karlsruhe Accord Bridge.
But accompanying towns do not appear chargeless of charge. Derby Burghal Council has an anniversary twinning account of £35,000.
It uses allotment of that to apply an envoy. This year, 22-year-old Rob Bentley is Derby’s agent and is spending the year in the city’s German twin, Osnabrück.
In return, the German burghal will accelerate an agent aback to the East Midlands.
“Obviously twinning is an expense”, Mr Bentley said, “But it pays for itself.
“There are so abounding acceptance who appear over from Osnabrück to do assignment placements in Derby. It’s aloof money that wouldn’t be in the bounded abridgement otherwise.”
Leicester Burghal Council – which needs to save £61m by 2018 – has spent £100,000 on its bristles twinning links in the accomplished three years. That included £1,661.30 on flags.
The administrator of the Burghal of Leicester European Twinning Association, Peter Lee, said the burghal did get acceptable amount for money, but it could do more.
“What we absolutely need, in adjustment to get an bread-and-butter benefit, barter and that array of thing, would be full-time workers on the project,” said Mr Lee.
“I don’t anticipate there’s anywhere abreast abundant barter amid Leicester and Krefeld.”
But added attenuate than the barter links are the friendships that accept been borne out of the twinning projects.
In 2002, back Leicester firefighter Bob Miller died in a branch fire, Krefeld firefighter Ulf Tabbart not alone got a accumulation calm to go to the burial but additionally organised a fundraising accident in his honour.
“Friendship is like the stars in the sky – you cannot see them but you apperceive they are there.”
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