Preston is celebrating the 30th anniversary of being twinned with the oldest city in Poland by welcoming a delegation of visitors from Kalisz.
Kalisz, which lies 146 miles west of Poland’s capital city Warsaw, was twinned with Preston in 1989 and has since been involved in a number of projects to develop a partnership between the two cities.
This has included Preston helping to set up a business incubation centre in Kalisz that is now thriving, cultural exchange programmes for young people from both cities, which involved students from Cardinal Newman College, and working with the Preston Academy of English on language programmes.
Preston Twinning Partnerships organised the 2019 celebratory visit to Preston, which included a tour of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) arranged by the institution’s Creative Community Group.
The Kalisz twinning town committee, Mayor and President of Kalisz Krystian Kinastowski, Vice-President Mateusz Podsadny and the Chancellor of the Stanisław Wojciechowski State University of Applied Sciences in Kalisz Kazimierz Matusiak were give a tour of UCLan as well as taking part in other events around the city.
Mayor and President of Kalisz Krystian Kinastowski said: “Both cities are of a similar size and have a rich history so when Preston reached out to Kalisz 30 years ago to offer friendship through the town twinning programme, we were delighted to accept. We’ve developed a close relationship over the last three decades that has brought the two cities together to share business and culture and we are already looking ahead to the next 30 years.”
The UCLan visit involved a meeting with the UCLan Propeller Hub to allow the delegates to learn more about student and staff entrepreneurship and business support followed by a demonstration of work taking place in the UCLan robotics and computer laboratory by Professor of Computer Vision Bogdan Matuszewski.
UCLan Joint Institutional Lead Dr Lynne Livesey welcome the visitors to Campus. She said: “It was an honour and a pleasure to support the 30th anniversary of twinning with Kalisz in Poland and meet members of the twinning town committee. We are looking forward to developing closer links with the Stanisław Wojciechowski State University of Applied Sciences through research projects and student exchange ventures.”
The Polish delegation also took part in Armed Forces Days celebrations in Preston and attended a Reaffirmation Ceremony at Preston Town Hall, followed by the Preston Mayor’s Incoming Service at St George’s Church. In addition, they will visit Sir Tom Finney High School to establish an exchange visit with a school in Kalisz.
Trisha Rollo, the Kalisz co-ordinator from Preston Twinning Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to mark this milestone anniversary by bringing our guests to Preston. We already have a fruitful relationship with Kalisz and we aim to build on it through several projects that are already in the pipeline. This includes a concert in Preston performed by the Kalisz Phillomonic Orchestra and an art exhibition involving local artists from both cities. This relationship is very much about sharing business, culture and education.”