The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis, has recently returned from a visit to Solihull’s twin town in France, Cholet.
He was joined by the Mayoress Mrs Sarah Walker, Cabinet Member for Managed Growth & Deputy Leader Councillor Ian Courts, and Chief Executive Nick Page.
The group were welcomed by the Mayor and 1st Deputy Mayor of Cholet, Gilles Bourdouleix and Michel Champion, along with other representatives from the French authority.
During the course of the visit, the delegation visited a number of businesses and had a detailed presentation and debate with business leaders in Cholet.
The Mayor said: “It has been a wonderful experience to visit Cholet and learn more about the local area, with which we are twinned.
“Our counterparts made us extremely welcome and we are grateful to have the opportunity to explore economic development within our regions.”
Councillor Ian Courts said: “During our time in Cholet, it was clear that our partners in the Cholet business community were eager to develop deeper economic ties with Solihull and the West Midlands. We identified a number of economic and cultural areas of mutual interest and we are actively looking to explore these further.”
The Cholet Agglomeration is in western France and has a population of over 100,000. Cholet itself is the second city of the Department of Maine-et-Loire.
Voted the most sporting city in France in 2014, Cholet is home to the SO Cholet football team and it hosted the departure of Stage 5 in the 2008 Tour de France.
The town owes the rise of its prosperity to the settlement of weavers in the area and has a textile museum to conserve the traditional machines used to create the town’s famous handkerchiefs.
Photo caption (l-r): Nick Page, Mr Michel Champion, Cllr Ian Courts, Mayor Bourdouleix, Mayoress of Solihull, Mayor of Solihull.