Portsmouth is twinned with Caen in France and Duisburg in Germany, and maintains sister and friendship links with other cities around the world. Continue reading for more information on twinning, or expand the sections below for more details on our links with each city.
Twinning is the proven method of building bridges between communities from different countries. Twinning can act as a catalyst for communication links and relationships between people of differing or similar backgrounds who are geographically distant. With twinning we aim to:
- promote our links to the people of Portsmouth, and enable them to meet people from different cultural groups and societies
- promote participation with those groups in activities such as arts, sports and education
- develop mutual economic benefits such as tourism and language studies, where possible
For more information on the Portsmouth European Cities Twinning Committee please visit www.tinyurl.com/portectc. For more information on our other partnership links please visit www.tinyurl.com/portinter
Click on the tabs below for more information on each city, and the nature of its link with Portsmouth.
Twinned since 1987
The link was established at the time the International Ferry Port was established as a way of supporting both Portsmouth and Caen to make the port a success.
On 5 June 1987 a document was signed in Portsmouth and in Caen on 6 June 1987. This document was rewritten and re-signed by the mayors of both cities in a ceremony in Caen on November 25th 2017.
Many individual links between Portsmouth and Caen have been achieved, particularly in the areas of sport, leisure, tourism and cultural activities, as well as economic issues and business. There have been many other exchanges by groups such as the Police, taxi drivers, the fire service, general practitioners, the legal profession, nurses and the scouting movement. A number of Portsmouth Schools also have successful exchange programmes with Schools in Caen. Knowledge is shared between the two cities, most recently with regards to the development of the Portsmouth Hotwalls offer
How can I take part?
The Portsmouth European Cities Twinning Committee has been established to maintain contact between Portsmouth and Caen. The Chair is Andrew Starr. The aims of the Friendship Committee are:
- to actively encourage organisations and individuals in Portsmouth to link with those with similar interests in Caen
- to advise on hospitality arrangements for groups coming to Portsmouth from Caen, other than official visits organised by the Council
- to promote a greater understanding of Caen and its customs
For more on the city of Caen, visit Caen’s tourism website or the Caen City Council site. Both websites have the option to translate into English if required. For more information on the Portsmouth European Twin Cities please visit www.tinyurl.com/portectc.
Twinned since 1950
Portsmouth’s link with Duisburg is the second-oldest Anglo-German twinning. Portsmouth City Council suggested the twinning as an act of reconciliation, so that the post-war reconstruction would see not only buildings, but also relations between the two nations rebuilt. In 1950 the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Sir Denis and Lady Peggy Daley, signed the Golden Book of Duisburg at the city’s Town Hall.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Portsmouth-Duisburg Twinning link a webpage was created: Duisburg – 70th anniversary – Portsmouth City Council
Since 1950, the Lord Mayor has made annual visits to the city and it is estimated that over 70,000 people have participated in exchanges between our cities, which have included groups from schools, colleges, adult education, musicians and artists, members of social and drama clubs, and many sports and social clubs.
How can I take part?
The Portsmouth European Cities Twinning Committee has been established to maintain contact between Portsmouth and Duisburg. The Chair is Andrew Starr. The aims of the Friendship Committee are:
- to actively encourage organisations and individuals in Portsmouth to link with those with similar interests in Duisburg
- to advise on hospitality arrangements for groups coming to Portsmouth from Duisburg, other than official visits organised by the Council
- to promote a greater understanding of Duisburg and its customs
For more information on Duisburg, please visit the Duisburg tourism site or the Duisburg City site. Both websites have the option to translate into English if required. For more information on the Portsmouth European Twin Cities please visit www.tinyurl.com/portectc.
Sister link since 1963
This relationship was set up at the invitation of the city of Haifa who realised that many Israeli naval personnel were on courses at the time in the RN dockyard and other military establishments in and around Portsmouth.
There is an active Haifa Committee who support a range of small initiatives between the two cities. Elements of this have been the establishment of a link between Highbury College Portsmouth and Tiltan College Haifa as well as a virtual Conan Doyle exhibition.
Visit Haifa – Tourist Israel for more information.
Sister City established in 1998
This link was initiated to support an increase in Japanese tourism and economic development between two cities with a shared historical military links. Despite the challenges of the distance between cities there has been an increasing amount of activity over the last 22 years especially following successful funding bids to support programme with young people.
Maizuru have funded approximately 25 young people from their city to attend Portsmouth each year since the beginning of the link. Once here they have taken part in a range of English language teaching and tourism activities. In 2016 a link was established with Mayfield school and this has gone onto secure funding so enabling a group of young people to visit Maizuru in 2018.
Additionally there have been a number of specific business initiatives to support and assist businesses in Portsmouth interested in expanding into the Japanese market as well as a range of Parks & gardens initiatives including the Portsmouth Japanese Garden in Southsea and a range of new cherry trees which were planted to mark the 20th anniversary of the link in Cosham.
Established in 2013 consisting of
- Portsmouth Virginia – Sister City Established 1982
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire – Friendship Link Established
- Portsmouth, Rhode Island – Friendship Link Established
This compact was established by the four Portsmouth’s with the aim of promoting cultural and educational activities across the similar named town and cities. The three US Portsmouth’s were visited by our Lord Mayor in 2013 when the compact was established and again by our Lord Mayor in 2018 as part of a wider visit during his Mayoral year.
Portsmouth Rhode Island visit the City annually to attend our Mayor Making ceremony.
Sister link since 1984
Sydney has a historic link with Portsmouth – the first colonial ships to arrive in Sydney Cove in 1788 sailed from our city. The official sister link was formed in 1984, in time for the bicentennial anniversary of the sailing of the First Fleet.
An Australian Settlers Memorial of two anchor links can be found in Sally Port – there is an identical memorial in Sydney. The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Barry Maine, visited Sydney for the 2000 Olympics.
For more information visit the city of Sydney site.
Friendship City Established 2014
The Friendship City agreement was set up in March 2014 with support of the Portsmouth Chinese Association. Since then there have been various visits by delegations to China and Portsmouth to establish links. These have mainly been to establish links and projects focussing on economic growth. Various businesses have been working with Zhuhai including Portsmouth Football Club. Zhuhai are keen to establish links in areas such as electronics, computer software, biotechnology and pharmacy. Portsmouth has been represented as various conferences in China including the International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition and the China Outbound conference which both focus on establishing business investment opportunities.
Meetings have been held with the University of Portsmouth to establish credit programmes or summer school programmes, frequent talks and visits are helping to realise these plans. In addition an Education Fair took place in 2019 showcasing education establishments in Portsmouth including the University of Portsmouth, ICP, Portsmouth Grammar School, St John’s College and Portsmouth College with a view to encouraging Chinese students to study in the city.
Sister City established 2018
Zhanjiang has an international port which is one of the biggest globally, they are also home to the Chinese Navy. Delegation visits to both Portsmouth and Zhanjiang have focussed on joint projects between the Ports and conversations continue.
The University of Portsmouth has established links with a University in Zhanjiang with the various projects being agreed including mutual teacher training, short-term student exchanges, and 3+1 study abroad programs.
Zhanjiang gave Portsmouth a free stand at their Expo event which enabled Portsmouth to be promoted to residents and businesses in Zhanjiang.
Lord Mayor visited Zhanjiang in October 2019 with the purpose of maintaining existing links and establishing new ideas for joint working.
Sister City Established 2019
This link has been established with an economic development focus at its heart. The Leader of the Council visited the city in 2019, the visit focussed on establishing economic development and educational links and included meetings with the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Education Ministry and Commerce Ministry, the Port Authority and Navy as well as the signing of the Sister City Agreement.
A group has been set up to support the development of the link which includes the Portsmouth Bangladeshi Business Association (PBBA), Portsmouth International Port and Portico.
The University of Portsmouth see great potential for investing in the growth of Bangladeshi market and have established the International College Portsmouth (ICP) in Bangladesh. The college enables students to achieve a University of Portsmouth degree.