Leven could potentially have a brand new twin town by 2016 after Fife Council travelled to Bruges in France to meet with its town council.
During the five-day trip, which was organised and paid for by the Bruges local authority, Councillor Tom Adams, plus area services manager for Levenmouth David Paterson and Dominique Anderson from Fife Council’s communications department were met with “humbling hospitality” from a town said to be very eager to twin with Levenmouth.
Cllr Adams said: “It really was a great visit and it was quite humbling to be met with such fantastic hospitality from these people.
“We were there with two other towns which Bruges is already twinned with – Umkirch in Germany and Pollenca in Spain – and they even put on a Scottish night for us.
“We really look forward to cementing a good relationship with Bruges throughout this process.”
Mr Paterson said an initial approach, concerned with projects involving young people, art, cultural and sport exchanges, and building business relationships, has now been agreed with the Mayor of Bruges.
He explained: “This will be done initially by facilitating discussion between local groups in Levenmouth and Bruges and supporting work that develops from that process. We expect some individual contacts to start in January.
“I will be reporting back to Leven Community Council early in the New Year to establish its willingness to support a formalisation of the twinning process – which can take around 18 months. We will also be looking to form a twinning steering group - discussions on what form that will take will also be broached with the Community Council.”
He added: “We were fortunate to meet with a Senior Trade Advisor from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) during a session hosted by the Mayor and were encouraged to contact them for further help in developing business links , notably around Oil and Gas as well as renewables. I will be discussing this with colleagues in Economic Development to understand how that contact can be best utilised.”