Berwick gets the thumbs-up from Welsh twin town visitors

Berwick is '˜a desirable destination for discerning tourists' which makes good use of character and history, say visitors from its newest twin town.

Sunday, 26th March 2017, 7:59 am
Historian Jim Herbert guides visitors from Berwick's 'twin town' of Fishguard.

A five-strong community team from Fishguard in Pembrokeshire visited the town and surrounding area for three days.

The visit was hosted by Berwick Community Trust, which organised a tour of the area, a reception with representatives of interested organisations, visits to businesses and an insight into the work of the harbour.

“It was interesting for us to see our town through others’ eyes,” said Trust chief executive Julien Lake, who will now lead a team from Berwick on the return visit to Fishguard in early April.

“We look forward to seeing what we can learn from another community facing similar challenges.”

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Jeremy Martineau, secretary of Fishguard and Goodwick Chamber of Trade and Tourism, who led the visiting group, said they had learned much from the visit.

“Berwick makes more of its character and historical assets than we do. We hope we have some achievements that can help Berwick do better in some respects,” he said.

“We are both desirable destinations for discerning tourists; we both have ageing populations and need more local people to get involved in the promotion of our lovely towns,” he added.

The visitors also met Berwick’s civic party.

Mayor Ivor Dixon said: “We are coastal towns with many similarities. There will be benefits from working together and sharing ideas.”

The Welsh visitors were joined by representatives from the Carnegie UK Trust who devised Twin Towns UK, which takes a fresh approach to the well-established twinning concept by pairing 10 towns across the UK with similar characteristics or socio-economic challenges, to consider how to make positive change happen in their communities.

Over the coming 18 months, towns will build their ties, develop a body of evidence, receive support and devise a twinning action plan in order to receive funds to kickstart new commercial, voluntary and social enterprise activity.