Wigan has been twinned with Angers for more than 20 years.
The capital of Anjou, Angers is located in north west France in the heart of the Loire Valley.
An hours train ride from Paris, Angers hosts thousands of tourists each year and is rich in arts, history, culture and sport.
About the twinning
The twinning agreement between Wigan and Angers was signed in 1988 by David Caley and Jean Monnier, then Mayors of Wigan and Angers respectively.
The friendship had actually started 10 years earlier when an English teacher from Angers and a French teacher from Wigan set up educational links between their colleges.
The twinning has evolved over the years and now not only involves schools, but also:
- Sports clubs
- Music bands
- Cultural organisations
Each year, both towns select and send overseas a new Ambassador or Ambassadress who will work for twelve months at the Twinning Office of the twin town council. The Ambassador represents and promotes their town. Ambassadors are employed full time to help schools, communities, companies and more.
Angers Twinning Association
Wigan’s dedicated Angers Twinning Association (ATA) meets once a month alternatively at Wigan and Leigh Town Hall. The ATA actively assists the French ambassadors in their work.
Twinning opens the door of opportunity for everyone to enjoy. Members love France, its language, customs and culture and sharing experiences. Visits to Angers are organised and Wiganers soon make French friends. Over the years true and lasting friendships have been formed and horizons widened. You can even offer to be a host family. If you would like to be part of all this, why not come along to the next ATA meeting and find out more. You’ll be glad you did!
Contact your Ambassador for more details.
- 30th September 2015 – Wigan Town Hall – Welcome and Goodbye meeting 6.15pm
- 28th October 2015 – Leigh Town Hall 6.30pm
- 25th November 2015 – Wigan Town Hall 6.15pm
- No meeting in December
- 20th January 2016 – St Jude’s Social Club – Meet and Share 7.00pm
- 24th February 2016 – Leigh Town Hall 6.30pm
- 23rd March 2016 – Wigan Town Hall 6.15pm
- 27th April 2016 – Leigh Town Hall 6.30pm
- 25th May 2016 – Wigan Town Hall 6.15pm
- No meeting in July
- No meeting in August
- 28th September 2016 – Leigh Town Hall – Welcome and Goodbye meeting 6.15pm
Twinning – our services:
Twinning for schools
Ambassadors can find your school a partner from Angers to be twinned with. They can also come to your school to give talks or do a workshop on Angers and France to your pupils.
Over the years, many schools across Wigan Borough have established links with schools from Angers. This has given pupils the opportunity to become friends with pupils from Angers.
There are many different ways for schools to link up with a French school:
- Exchange visits
- Email exchange
- Pen pal exchange
- Video exchange
- E-twinning – both classes/schools share documents of their own town/country so that they both work on their twin town/country
- Postal Card sharing
- And lots more
If you are interested in establishing educational twinning links with a school from Angers, please get in touch.
Twinning for youth and adult groups
One of the services we offer is to provide students or French visitors with a list of host families in Wigan Borough. It’s an amazing opportunity for all to discover a new culture, new language and to develop relationships with friends abroad.
Every year we are approached by teenagers or students for pen pals to exchange letters or emails. If you want to improve your French, or if you know somebody who does, please contact us for more details.
We receive a lot of requests from students living in Angers or from Angers who are looking for work placement in Wigan Borough. We can also help students or residents in Wigan Borough who are looking for a placement in Angers. We help you get in touch with companies and also assist in creating your CV and cover letters.
Who can benefit?
Anybody and everybody. The twinning is far more than the occasional civic exchange. Already a host of organisations have sealed their own links with counterparts in Angers. They include policemen and postal workers, charities, sporting groups and musicians, schools and colleges, fishing and darts clubs, chambers of commerce and trade and many more. Companies have exchanged employees and young people have found work placements in local businesses.
How Can I Get Involved?
If you are a local group or an individual who is interested in taking part in any of the following activities or more, feel free to contact the Ambassadress from Angers on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can contact by post at Ambassador from Angers, Twinning Office – Economic Development, Places Directorate, Wigan Council, PO Box 100, Wigan, WN1 3DS. You can also find us on Facebook (external link).
Visit your twin town
With a population of around 160,000 people (290,000 within the borough), Angers is the 16th largest city in France. Among the 160,000 inhabitants are 30,000 students based in 3 different universities (2 state universities and one private), but also in graduate schools (e.g. graduate business schools, graduate agriculture schools etc.)
Along with these “learning centres”, the city itself provides education to citizens through its past which is present in the city’s monument such as: the Castle (built in the 9th century), the Cathedral (built in the 11-12th centuries), Adam’s House (built in 1500). All these monuments play an integral part in Angers’ history and heritage, as well as in Angevins’ culture and education.
Angers has managed to combine its heritage and historical culture with modernity. Indeed, in a city where history is omnipresent thanks to monuments, a lot of festivals and projects have been created to promote contemporary culture. Many music, film and theatre festivals take place in Angers every year such as the First European Film Festival “Festival Premiers Plans” and Street Arts Festival “Les Accroche Coeurs”. To enhance all these cultural activities, Angers also benefits from its new contemporary arts centre “Le Quai” which is one of the town’s recent regeneration projects, along with the tramway, a new botanic garden and many more.