Published on 27th March 2012

twinning sign

On 2 April sixteen local residents and business leaders will head off to Weihai, Cheltenham’s Chinese twin town, to promote Cheltenham from a business and educational point of view.

The three day stay in Weihai, which is self funded by everyone attending, will involve visiting business and education establishments. It will include a visit to a school where summer language students who study at Gloucester College attend.

The trip is combined with a visit to Xian prior to staying in Weihai and Beijing afterwards. The visit, from 2 April to 12 April 2012, as well as including a full programme of formal engagements will also include some sightseeing, which has been organised by Weihai officials. These include a visit to the famous Terracotta Army as well as an excursion to the Great Wall at Mutianyu.

The Mayor, Barbara Driver, as well as Andrew North, the chief executive of Cheltenham Borough Council will be visiting along with other guests who have close links with the city including one lady who has a family connection with Weihai. Her uncle perished in the HMS Poseidon submarine disaster off Weihaiwei in 1931 and she has never been able to travel to China.

The Mayor, Barbara Driver, said: “This will be the first group visit to Weihai since 1998. There’s a diverse mix of people within the party all with different reasons for going on the trip. With a packed itinerary I’m sure we will all have a very enjoyable experience which will enhance our close relationship with the twin town.”

Andrew North, chief executive of Cheltenham Borough Council, added: “We’re very
much looking forward to the trip. It opens up a two-way dialogue for both parties on their enterprises, economy, trade, culture and education. The trip is a great opportunity to forge even stronger links with our twinning partner and develop business links and professional contacts.’’

For further details about the visit, please contact Annette Wight on email or call 01242 264311.

For press enquiries, contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email:

Photo opportunity: On Monday 2 April some of the guests will be leaving from the back of the Municipal Offices at 11am.