Angers is located in the North West of France in the heart of the Loire Valley and is the capital of Anjou. At just an hours train ride away from Paris, Angers hosts thousands of tourists each year and is rich in art, history, culture and sport.
With a population of around 160,000 people (290,000 within the borough), Angers is the 16th largest city in France. It’s a young city as 48% of the population is less than 30 years old. 30,000 students are based in 3 different universities (2 state universities and one private), but also in prestigious graduate schools.
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 the Street Arts Festival “Les Accroche Coeurs”. To enhance all these cultural activities, Angers also benefits from its 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.
About the twinning
Wigan has been twinned with Angers for more than 20 years. The friendship started in 1978 when an English teacher from Angers and a French teacher from Wigan set up educational links between their colleges. The twinning officially started in 1988 when a twinning agreement was signed by David Caley and Jean Monnier, then Mayors of Wigan and Angers respectively.
The twinning has evolved over the years and now involves a wide network of organisations from both cities including:
- Students and schools
- Sports clubs
- Music bands
- Cultural organisations
Each year, both cities 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 Ambassadors represent and promote their town but their main task is to develop exchanges between the twin towns.
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, for instance: exchange visits, email exchange, pen pal exchange, video exchange, etc.
If you are interested in establishing educational twinning links with a school from Angers, please get in touch.
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. If you wish to be a host family, please contact us.
Every year we are approached by teenagers or students for pen pals to exchange letters or emails. If you want to improve your French, 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.
We’re currently working on establishing a network of companies to welcome foreign young people for work experience placement. If you’re a business and you’d like to know more, please contact us.
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. This includes 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 email@example.com. 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).
There is a lot of Twinning events going on all around the year (Kermesse Festival, French Book Club, French Afternoon, food sale, quiz night, etc). If you want to be updated on what’s next, follow us on social networks and let the Ambassador know that you want to receive an invitation.
Please, do not hesitate to let us know your expectations from the Twinning, your wishes and your ideas. Every feedback is welcome!
Angers Twinning Association
Wigan has a dedicated association to the twinning called the Angers Twinning Association (ATA). The ATA meets once a month alternatively at Wigan and Leigh Town Hall and actively assists the French ambassadors in their work.
Members love France, its language, customs and culture and are always happy in 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.
Twinning opens the door of opportunities for everyone to enjoy and the Ambassador is always interested in new ideas and projects. So, if you’d like to invest in the Twinning, why not come along to the next ATA meeting and find out more.
Contact your Ambassador for more details.
- 24th February 2016 – Leigh Town Hall 6.00pm
- 13th March 2016 – French evening meal at Gallimore’s from 7pm
- 30th March 2016 – Wigan Town Hall 5.30pm
- 27th April 2016 – Leigh Town Hall 6.00pm
- 25th May 2016 – Wigan Town Hall 5.30pm
- 29th June 2016 – Leigh Town Hall at 6pm
- No meeting in July
- No meeting in August
- 28th September 2016 – Leigh Town Hall – Welcome and Goodbye meeting 6.00pm