Middlesbrough Council officially twinned with Oberhausen (Germany) in 1974, and Dunkirk (France) in 1976, but is currently only actively twinned with Oberhausen.
The city of Oberhausen is located in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, and is of a similar nature to Middlesbrough. Oberhausen was a rural area until the 1860s, when the production of coal and steel began. As a result, it was also faced with many of the same regeneration issues that have occurred in Middlesbrough following the decline of these industries. Today Oberhausen has a population of 220,000, and is one of the largest cities in its region.
Dunkirk is the northernmost city in France, located 10 kilometres from the Belgian border. It has the third largest port in France (after Le Havre and Marseilles), and handles heavy industrial cargo as well being an important ferry terminal for cross-Channel travel. Dunkirk is remembered for the part it played in World War II with the evacuation of British and allied forces, and was almost demolished in 1940 when both the town and its economy had to be rebuilt. With rapid commercial and industrial expansion, Dunkirk today has developed into a busy town with a population of nearly 73,000.
Middlesbrough-Oberhausen Town Twinning (MOTT)
Middlesbrough and Oberhausen entered into a town twinning partnership in 1974, however close ties between the two areas have existed for over 50 years. Those ties began with youth exchanges, the first of which was held in 1953, and the project is still very popular today. There is meeting room in the Town Hall dedicated to Oberhausen, which was officially opened on 12 August 2006 by the Mayor of Middlesbrough and the Deputy Mayor of Oberhausen. It has lots of photos of Oberhausen over the years displayed on the walls.
A delegation from Oberhausen, including the Mayor Daniel Schranz, visited Middlesbrough in January 2019, and a cultural exchange of officers took place in June 2019 (pictured). The MULTI Youth Exchange takes place in August, and every two years young people aged 12 and over have the chance to visit Oberhausen and stay with a host family.
Middlesbrough-Oberhausen Town Twinning (formally known as Oberhausen/Middlesbrough Partnerschaft Association) was established by citizens in Middlesbrough and Oberhausen, and has members who made friends over 40 years ago during youth exchanges.
The aim of MOTT is to promote and foster friendship and understanding between the people of Middlesbrough and Oberhausen. Through Middlesbrough-Oberhausen Town Twinning, members have developed long-lasting relationships, and over the years the organisation has seen new generations of the families participate in the town twinning relationship. Annual exchange visits are an integral part of the twinning relationship, and during this time, members stay with host families to experience each other's lifestyles and culture. The 45th anniversary of the Town Twinning partnership was celebrated in September 2019, and members from Middlesbrough visited their friends in Oberhausen.
MOTT is always looking for new members. If you'd like to join, please contact:
Mrs S Alexander
Chair of MOTT
Phone: 01642 319595
The town twinning agreements
In German / French