Stockport twinned with the French town of Béziers in 1972, and in 1982 went on to twin with Heilbronn in South West Germany, thus creating a three way twinning relationship between the towns.
Since then friendly relations have been developed with a number of other towns and cities worldwide, often focusing on education. These include the USA, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, Africa and Pakistan.
The aim of working with our twin towns and link areas has always been to break down barriers and prejudices, and to create friendly relations between people of all ages and of different nationalities at 'grass-roots' level.
Activities including linguistic, cultural and sports exchanges played a large part in Stockport's early relationship with Béziers and Heilbronn, and are still pursued with considerable success with these and other international partners too. Thousands of local people have, through school and youth exchanges, enjoyed meeting families abroad.
Additional benefits have developed in more recent years: contacts and exchanges of experience in areas such as business, vocational training, health care and services for senior citizens and people with disabilities.