Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 10.35.03AN important international link is celebrated at an event in Middlesbrough next week.

The latest phase of the town’s youth exchange programme with its German twin will be marked in the Town Hall on Tuesday (August 4).

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd will welcome 14 young people from the German city as they arrive for the latest visit in the long-running and hugely successful partnership.

The group will also meet 14 local young people and two youth leaders, and will stay in accommodation with host families provided as part of the programme.

The young people taking part this year will each receive a special crystal keyring engraved with the MULTI logo as a memento.

Groups visit each other’s country in alternate years as part of the MULTI exchange, and the German visitors arriving in Middlesbrough can look forward to a packed two-week programme of activities with their counterparts on Teesside.

Close ties have existed between Middlesbrough and Oberhausen for over 50 years, with the two towns entering a formal town twinning partnership in 1974 and maintaining strong social and cultural ties.

Vice Chair of Middlesbrough Council Councillor Bob Brady, who as a Thorntree youth worker was involved in the initial exchanges in the mid-1960s, said: “For me it is very important in this day and age that these exchange visits go on – just as it was 50 years ago.

“There is a great benefit for young people from Middlesbrough to see a place like Oberhausen and Germany and understand their culture and vice versa.

“We are once again delighted to welcome a group of young people to the town and I’m sure they will have an enjoyable and memorable visit.”