Newcastle upon Tyne is twinned with the following cities:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Bergen, Norway
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Groningen, Holland
Haifa, Israel
Nancy, France
Newcastle, Australia
We also have a Friendship Agreement with Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.


Atlanta is the State capital of Georgia. It is also its largest city and the principal trade and transportation centre of the southeastern United States. In 1996 the City hosted the summer Olympic Games.

Background to Twinning

Although Newcastle is officially twinned with Atlanta, the organisation and momentum behind the link was through the 'Friendship Force'. The first exchanges in 1977 were between 381 Americans and 381 people from the North East. Since then regular exchanges between Georgia and Newcastle have been organised by local members of the Friendship Force. A great many of these have developed into personal links. Following a return visit by President Jimmy Carter in 1987 the Lord Mayor (Derek Webster) visited Atlanta in 1988 and made initial contact with relevant business people. Further meetings were held in 1992 and an educational programme was developed with the first exchanges taking place between North Atlanta High School and the University of Northumbria Business School. The University of Northumbria has subsequently been designated as the European Centre of the University System of Georgia. This is part of a programme by the University System of Georgia to establish four centres of excellence in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. Inward investment leads have also been generated.


Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is situated on the south west coast. It has developed a diversified economy, based largely on fishing, shipbuilding and associated industries (repairing and equipment), machinery and metal products, and food processing. In 2000 it was one of the Cultural Cities of Europe and in July 2001 it hosted the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race.

Background to Twinning

Newcastle has a particularly close bond with Norway. The King of Norway, Olav V, opened Newcastle's Civic Centre in 1968 and each December the City is presented with a Christmas Tree by the City of Bergen. The custom originated after the Second World War as a symbol of peace and goodwill. In terms of economic development the twinning arrangement with Bergen is potentially very important as Britain is the main recipient of foreign investment by Norwegian industrial, shipping, commercial and financial companies. The City regularly exhibits at Offshore Northern Seas in Stavanger, with a selection of local offshore oil and gas related companies. At the Civic level twinning with Bergen has been very active. Links with Norway have existed for hundreds of years and the contact with Bergen has been fairly easy to maintain because of the physical proximity and the direct transport links. For this reason the Council has been able to organise youth exchanges and activity holidays for some of the more deprived and unemployed young people in the City, as well as the more usual school exchanges.


Gelsenkirchen is situated in the Westphalia region of Germany, just north of Essen. Located in one of the largest coal-mining and coking areas of Germany, the town is dominated by heavy industry, producing iron, steel, chemicals, glass, and clothing.

Background to Twinning

The link with Gelsenkirchen is a long-standing one (since 1947) and, over the years, has included many civic visits, student, community and religious exchanges. The Gelsenkirchen Chamber of Commerce is eager to establish links with the Chamber in Newcastle. The Education Directorate organises school exchanges to Gelsenkirchen as part of the modern language course and similarly German students visit Newcastle to improve their English. More recently the emphasis has been on economic development lines.

Friends of Germany/Friends of Gelsenkirchen

Friends of Germany/Gelsenkirchen provides an opportunity for German citizens based in Newcastle and its environs, as well as local residents and businesses with an interest in or connection to Germany, to meet socially on a regular basis. Meetings are generally informal, known as "Stammtisch" meetings, often include German food and drink, and are sometimes themed.
In addition, a steering group of "Friends of Germany/Gelsenkirchen" meets every 2-3 months to examine and pursue opportunities to strengthen and deepen connections between the City of Newcastle and environs and Germany, drawing on the special city partnership relationship with Gelsenkirchen and with emphasis on the areas of:

  • culture
  • sport
  • tourism
  • education
  • technology
  • business

The steering group is open to anyone with interest in the above areas and willingness to pursue and assist with the development of potential links with Gelsenkirchen/Germany. The concept of a Business Stammtisch is currently being explored, along with education exchanges and specific cultural events.
Invitations to the Stammtisch and steering group meetings are by email and may be forwarded to relevant friends and contacts. In the first instance, please contact the German Honorary Consul, Mrs. Jo Chexal, if you would like to be added to the mailing list. Phone: 0191 233 6317; email:


Groningen lies in the northern part of the Netherlands. It is one of the most important cities in the region, being a shopping and commercial centre with a considerable trade in cereals, oilseed, lumber, and cattle. Its industries include sugar refining, book printing, tobacco processing, and the manufacture of clothing, furniture, hosiery, machinery, and bicycles.

Background to Twinning

The link with Groningen began in 1946, originally for 'sporting exchanges'. However, in more recent years exchanges have largely had a 'cultural' or 'social' bias, and economic and trading links have also been established. In 1994 the Lord Mayor (Joan Lamb) led a delegation to Groningen as part of a collaboration between the two cities against Drugs Misuse. This subsequently became a European Cities Initiative. There have not been many school exchanges, largely because Dutch is not a language studied in English Schools.


Haifa is situated in the north west of Israel and is its principal port. Industries in the area include steel foundries, food processing, shipbuilding (small naval craft, fishing boats), and the production of chemicals, textiles and cement. Haifa's petroleum refineries date from 1939 and its steam-driven power plant (the first of its kind in Israel) from 1934.

Background to Twinning

There have been two civic exchanges to Haifa; one by Lord Mayor Derek Webster in 1988, the other by Lord Mayor Barney Rice in 1995.


Nancy is the cultural capital City of the Lorraine region in North East France. Its main industries are chemicals, clothing, and food processing although it has also developed as an administrative and financial capital.

Background to Twinning

The link with Nancy began in 1954. As well as the local authority, other organisations outside the Civic Centre have permanent relationships with Nancy. For example, the Regional Office of the BBC maintains links with FR3 Nancy, (a local television station) and there are exchanges between the two universities.

In Nancy, the Bureau Des Jumelages, a local authority department, has specific responsibility for developing and administering all aspects of the town twinning programme including school exchanges of which there have been many. The last Civic visit to Nancy was in 1992 by Newcastle Lord Mayor Tom Marr. Since then the Boys Choir of Lorraine (based in Nancy) has visited Newcastle on a concert tour.

Nancy is the cultural capital City of the Lorraine region of North East France. Its main industries are chemicals, clothing, and food processing although it has also developed as an administrative and financial capital.

Town TwinningReminding and Reconnecting Communities, Citizens and Young People

This project was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme "Europe for Citizens" Action 1, Measure 1.1 "Town Twinning Citizens' Meetings". The project involved citizens from the cities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Nancy. More information can be found on this project on the Newcastle Twin Cities website.


Newcastle is a city and port in New South Wales, Australia. It lies at the mouth of the Hunter River, 104 miles northeast of Sydney. Its main industries are coal, iron and steel, metallurgy, engineering, shipbuilding, mineral sands mining and textiles.

Background to Twinning

The link with Newcastle, New South Wales, is an historical one as many of their citizens are emigrants who originate from Newcastle upon Tyne and the North East. The link was formalised in 1987 when an 'Australia Week' was held, culminating in the official document signing. Because of the distance between the two cities the main emphasis of the link is social. We receive quite a number of Australian visitors who are returning to England to visit relatives or investigate their family history. In addition, there have been professional exchanges and encouragement is given to schools to correspond.

Little Rock

Little Rock is the State capital of Arkansas lying in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. It is an important transportation centre which has expanded mainly due to the proximity of raw materials (timber, oil, gas, coal, and bauxite). The city became a river port in 1969 with the opening of a system of locks and dams on the Arkansas River. Little Rock is also the chief market for the surrounding agricultural region.

The Friendship Agreement with Little Rock, Arkansas

"In order to share cultures and further develop understanding and co-operation between the two cities, the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England and the City of Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America, have agreed to establish a Friendship Cities relationship based on good faith and mutual co-operation. On behalf of our respective cities, we hereby agree to promote Friendship Cities relationship through mutual co-operation and exchange of culture, sports, education, arts, science, technology, and trade through the establishment of an interchange of administrative data, and through the promotion of tourism and a broad range of civil interchanges. This protocol shall become effective on Saturday, July 24, 1999, with the signatures of both parties listed below."

Signed by :
The Honourable Jim Dailey, Mayor,
City of Little Rock, State of Arkansas, USA

The Right Worshipful Cllr. John Cunningham, Lord Mayor,
City of Newcastle upon Tyne, England


Newcastles of the World

There are also more than 100 different “Newcastles” or New Castles” around the globe, in many different countries and in many different languages. Newcastle upon Tyne is part of the “Newcastles of the World” network, which shares information, best practice and promotes educational, cultural, business and tourism links between us. Learn more about Newcastles of the World at

Page last updated: 
8 December 2014
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