Twinning visit celebrates 60 years of friendship with Annecy

Published on 6th July 2016

lake in annecy

The red carpet is being rolled out this Thursday when dignitaries from Cheltenham’s twin town of Annecy visit to celebrate 60 years of friendship between the two towns.

The party of 20, which will be led by their mayor, Jean Luc Rigaut, will be here for four days and will be taking in the sights of Cheltenham, the Cotswolds and London with a packed programme of events.  Local residents of Annecy are amongst the group and will be staying with Cheltenham host families.

Starting with a welcome barbeque on Thursday night at the Civil Service Sports Club, the group will then visit the Houses of Parliament on Friday courtesy of Cheltenham’s MP Alex Chalk.
An official ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary will be held at The Wilson on Saturday 9 July which will provide time for the group to view the photo exhibition ‘I present my town’, which is a photographic celebration of the two towns.

Later on Saturday, the group will visit Sandford Park to see the Annecy floral display and Cheltenham’s and Annecy’s mayors will plant a celebratory rose bush. The afternoon’s entertainment continues in the park with afternoon cream tea, Morris dancers and will conclude with the official opening of the new boules court in Sandford Park.

Garth Barnes, chair of the Twinning Association said:  “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our visitors from Annecy to celebrate a fantastic 60 years of twinning. We have a great relationship with our French twin town and we are very proud to welcome them to Cheltenham.

‘’I am so pleased that so many local organisations have got involved in the celebrations to showcase the very best of Cheltenham; Cheltenham Ladies College, the university, Cheltenham Camera Club, the Friends of Sandford Park and the Gloucestershire Morris Men, I’m sure that our French friends will leave with a very positive view of Cheltenham.”

A twinning party from Cheltenham will visit Annecy this August to continue the 60 year celebrations and see the Fete du Lac.

For media enquiries, please contact: Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, telephone 01242 775037, email

Photo opportunities are as follows, please advise the communications team if a photographer would like to attend:
Cheltenham Ladies College – Thursday 2pm
The Wilson – Saturday 12-1.30pm
Sandford Park – Saturday 2-4 pm

Additional notes:

Cheltenham film degree students attended the Annecy Animated Film Festival last month (June 2016) and worked with their French counterparts to create a logo and video for the 60 year friendship.

In addition, work placements are organised annually for students. Two Cheltenham students are currently in Annecy, one working with the youth information office and one with the parks and gardens team. Cheltenham will be welcoming two Annecy students in August; one will be placed with Cheltenham Borough Homes and the other student with the Wilson.
See the council’s website for more information about twinning.