West Lancashire has thriving links with two twin towns, Cergy-Pontoise in France and Erkrath in Germany.
West Lancashire twinned with Cergy-Pontoise in 1983. Cergy-Pontoise lies 30km north west of Paris and has many similar characteristics to West Lancashire. It has a population of about 150,000 and includes a new town, Cergy, as well as a number of small towns (communes) and villages within the same local authority area. Pontoise is a very old market town which is comparable with Ormskirk. The are is an excellent holiday centre, not only for its own attractions but also for the surrounding countryside and for visiting Paris.
Web: Cergy-Pontoise (external link)
Map: Find Cergy-Pontoise on the map (external link)
Erkrath was formally twinned with West Lancashire in 1988, and has been twinned with Cergy-Pontoise since 1981. Erkrath has a population of 47,000 and lies east of Dusseldorf. It includes three sub townships of Alt-Erkrath, Unterfeldhaus and Hochdahl - each with its own centre but administered by a single civic authority based in Erkrath. With the mixture of old and new, and including both industry and agriculture, it has much in common with West Lancashire. Erkrath is surrounded by attractive countryside, situated at the head of the world famous Neanderthal Valley - an area of enormous geological antiquity where one can see boulders bearing fossilised imprints made 360 million years ago.
Web: Erkrath (external link)
Map: Find Erkrath on the map (external link)
West Lancashire District Town Twinning Association is very active in promoting relations with our twin towns at all levels. It's found correspondents and arranged individual and group exchange visits for students of all ages, teachers, brass bands, choirs, sports clubs, organisations for the disabled and many others.
If you, or your group, would like to get in touch with your equivalent in either town, the Twinning Association will try their best to help.
To get in touch, contact the Association through Paul Dickie on 01695 722076, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cllr Ruth Melling, the Chairman of the Association, on 01704 896373. The Association meets monthly.