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Town Twinning

There is tremendous advantage, both to the harmony of the Borough and its future development, by celebrating and encouraging international links. These can offer unique opportunities to understand the valuable history of the communities that make up Bedford’s population. Together we have all helped shape Bedford and the rich and diverse festivals and celebrations that occur year in and year out locally. Bedford’s historical connections with war time allies in the heroic struggles against Fascism are also important to celebrate


Twinning is all about bringing people together, it creates opportunities for citizens of member towns to experience and explore other cultures. It creates an atmosphere for economic development and trade opportunities. It stimulates an environment in which problems can be resolved on a person to person basis and breaks down cultural and social barriers. We can see how important this is in our own country in particular as well as across Europe but it also applies on a world wide basis also.


On a practical level twinned towns can encourage Chambers of Commerce to link and develop exchanges, summer jobs schemes, economic seminars, internships etc. Websites can be linked, art and cultural exhibits can be arranged, summer camps can be set up, local government exchanges can be facilitated, senior citizens groups can get together, sporting events can be organised. Really as long as there are people with ideas the list is endless. Twinning is for everyone both young and old!


Bedford Borough Council has accepted that to be successful twinning needs to be supported, if it is not it can wither on the vine as individuals move on either here or abroad. There is also a need for sufficient similarities to generate a range of links. Bedford has the River Great Ouse which is the focus for much activity including rowing. We also have a number of excellent educational establishments from our schools to the Bedford College and a nationally recognised University. There are strong historical aspects to Bedford and these include a focus through historical personalities such as John Bunyan, John Howard and Archbishop Trevor Huddleston. Bedford also has a firm cultural legacy as exemplified by the collections in the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum as well as strong musical traditions through the Music for Bedford Borough and local organisations.


Bedford Borough has two formal twinning links. These are with Bamberg in Bavaria, Germany and Rovigo in Veneto, Italy. For a diary of events that have happened and are planned in relation to twinning please use the “Twinning Events Calendar” link on the left.

There are other places and towns with which we have friendship links, more information can be found on the "Friendship Towns" link on the left. We have also included here details of twinnings between villages and parishes within the Borough.



The oldest of Bedford’s twinning links is with Bamberg in Bavaria in Germany. It was initiated in the early 1970’s and formalised in 1977.

To mark 25 years of twinning between Bamberg and Bedford, the Borough Council commissioned a commemorative glass feature. The feature is located at Borough Hall reception.

To mark the 30th Anniversary of twinning between Bedford and Bamberg in 2007, a number of events took place, for further details of these please follow the "30 Years of Twinning" link on the left.

For the Bamberg twinning, the Bedford Bamberg Association has been in existence in Bedford for many years which, as its name implies, takes a particular interest in this twinning and organises exchange visits between its members and members of the German English Club in Bamberg.

For further information about the Bedford Bamberg Association, please follow the "Useful Twinning Contacts" link.


The twinning with Rovigo in Veneto, Italy was signed 3 July 2004 during the River Festival. The game of Rugby brought the towns together. The friendship between Bedford and Rovigo started during the European Shield Tournament in 1999-2000 where Rovigo Rugby Club and Bedford Blues played against each other. Since then, links were established between Bedford and Rovigo Rugby teams which spurred the Mayor of the Italian town to write a letter to our Mayor to propose a permanent international relationship. The desire to foster links between our two towns culminated with an agreement being signed by the two Mayors in Bedford in February 2002. The agreement was then followed by a series of visits of the delegations both in Rovigo and in Bedford respectively in October and June 2003. 

For the Rovigo twinning, the Association “Friends of Europe” based in Rovigo is interested in providing incentives and support to exchange activities between young people, families and associations

Amici d’Europa - (Friends of Europe). Follow this link for more information and also the "Useful Twinning Contacts" link.

Friendship Towns

Bedford Borough Council also has friendship links to Arezzo in Italy and Wloclawek in Poland; find more information by clicking here.




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Bedford Borough is a vibrant area to live in with an abundance of leisure opportunities for residents and visitors. We pride ourselves on offering a fantastic programme of cultural events throughout the year, and providing a wide range of affordable health opportunities, through our quality parks, award winning leisure centres and sports development work.


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