Broughshane is one of ten UK towns to have been selected for a domestic ‘twinning’ trial aimed at reinvigorating local economies.
The famous floral village has been paired with Wooler in England which sits at the edge of the Northumberland National Park, near the Cheviot Hills. The new coupling follows the search for twinned partnerships launching in October last year by the Carnegie UK Trust.
In a new twist to the traditional concept of town twinning, which dates back to the Second World War, the aim was to pair towns with similar characteristics or challenges, but potentially with different back stories and approaches, to consider how to make positive change in the future.
Both towns are united in the fact that they want to reinvigorate their town centre and tourism offer, with Broughshane keen to make the most of its close proximity with Slemish Mountain.
Over the coming 18 months, both towns will build their ties, develop a body of evidence, receive economic planning support, and have access to catapult funds to kick start new commercial, voluntary and social enterprise activity.
The initial six months of the partnership will see each of the towns devise a twinning action plan that could reignite their fortunes.
Gina Wilson, Development Manager at the Carnegie UK Trust, said: “Twin Towns is aimed at encouraging towns to make a positive impact locally, especially at a time when devolution of power to cities and regions is becoming more prevalent.
“In fostering new relationships with partners that towns might not have considered before, it will provide a new perspective and hopefully new solutions to real and current issues.
“Whilst we don’t expect the towns’ concerns to be resolved overnight, we hope that the new partnerships will be the start of something positive.”
The Broughshane Twin Town partnership is being led by the Broughshane and District Community Association Ltd.
Lexie Scott, Chairman of Broughshane & District Community Association, said: “Broughshane is now a vibrant community with increasing visitor numbers.
“We look forward to partnering with Wooler and to hear of the new opportunities that have been developed in this prime tourist location.”
For more information, please visit: www.broughshane.org.uk or follow @CarnegieUKTrust.