Thumbs up for our partners in Europe

Performers at the Linlithgow Folk Festival
Performers at the Linlithgow Folk Festival

More than £24,000 of financial assistance has been approved by West Lothian Council’s executive to support twinning associations across the district.

Grapevine, Texas and Hochsauerlandkreis, which are the official twinning associations and operate West Lothian wide, will receive £8130 each.

Linlithgow/Guyancourt and Bathgate/Cran Gevrier twinning associations predominantly address organisations in their geographical area and will receive £4063 each.

The aim of twinning is to promote mutual understanding through educational, cultural, sporting and recreational exchanges.

West Lothian Council supports the twinning associations and encourages them to promote opportunities for individuals and community groups to participate in reciprocal exchange programmes with their twinning partners.

Currently 25 young musicians, who are part of West Lothian Council’s instrumental music service, are preparing to visit their music school colleagues in Hochsauerland, Germany, and, over the same weekend, 20 young swimmers from Livingston are participating in a swimming festival in Neihiem Husten.

Similarly, Grapevine school students are preparing to visit the district in June as part of a project with West Lothian schools which is centred around design and dance.

Executive councillor for culture and leisure, Dave King, said: “We are delighted to confirm financial assistance for the twinning groups for 2016-17. There have been many exciting projects which are aimed at young people involving sports, arts, schools and voluntary organisations.

‘‘One of the objectives throughout has been the development of exchanges targeting young people.

‘‘Over the years, there has been a variety of inclusive programmes involving schools, youth and voluntary groups.’’