Leicester & Leicestershire Council Sister City in China: Sichuan

Leicester and Leicestershire have developed strong links with Chongqing and the Sichuan Province, with many schools forming Sister School Partnerships through TEP.

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Council & Education Partnerships

True Education Partnerships works closely with British councils and the Chinese Ministry of Education to provide a range of government-backed, immersive education experiences for schools and trusts nationwide.

These experiences are designed to not only enhance the skills and development of students and teachers, but promote cultural diversity and economic growth across the whole of the UK. By helping both schools and cities establish strong sister partnerships, we facilitate an atmosphere of growth through the international exchange of ideas, cultures, resources and approaches.

Supporting the Economy

Our programmes are designed to also contribute to the wider economy on a local and national level. An influx of international visitors stimulates growth in local businesses. We use local providers for as much as possible including accommodation, restaurants, travel and tourist attractions.

Creating well-rounded, employable global citizens is really at the base of what we do, helping to strengthen businesses later down the line.  Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development showed how students exposed to international study at a young age show a greater potential for foreign language acquisition, increased knowledge of different cultures and development of cross-cultural skills.

Leicester & Leicestershire Council China Sister Cities

Leicester is linked with Chongqing and Leicestershire is linked with the Sichuan Province.

Leicester Chongqing
Leicestershire Sichuan

Leicestershire County Council has a long-standing friendship with Sichuan Province in China, beginning in 1985 with the exchange of delegations and the signing of a friendship agreement in 1985.

The Leicestershire-Sichuan Trade Bureau was established in 2004 following a County Council-led delegation and the signing of an agreement with the Sichuan Provincial Government.

Sichuan is about the size of Spain, with 90 million residents and an economy worth £31 billion.

We help create Sister City Partnerships through our close ties with the Chinese government. If you’d like to create a partnership with China, get in touch with us.

Leicestershire county council partnerships

Want to know more about how TEP can support your region’s Sister City Partnerships?

Leicestershire Sister School Partnerships

Our sister school programmes bring a wealth of benefits for students, transcending the standard student exchange model.

Participating students develop a new level of cultural awareness and appreciation, learn new skills and become more motivated, intuitive and self-sufficient than before. The programme’s benefits can also be seen to have a wide-reaching impact on the rest of the school, with teachers discovering new pedagogies and programme values becoming embedded in whole-school policy.

TEP is currently working with several schools across the Leicestershire region including Rothley Primary, Little Bowden Primary and Robert Smyth Academy, to create life-changing learning experiences.

If you’d like to support your region’s links with China, consider setting up a Sister School Partnership for your school or trust. TEP will help you every step of the way – from establishing the initial partnership to facilitating immersive learning experiences for schools.

Sister City Partnership Process

Partnership Initiation

We plan and launch Council Delegation visits to establish Sister City Partnerships between councils in the UK and China.

Economic Impact

A Sister City Partnership can encourage inward investment and has many bilateral benefits that make a significant economic impact.

Partnership Support

We support existing Sister City Partnerships between the UK and China through business, education and sport.

Education Opportunity

We invite schools to be part of rewarding Sister School Partnerships, which have mutual student benefits for both the UK & China.

Benefits of a Sister City Partnership

The UK and China have a long history of engagement and are now entering a ‘golden era’ of deepening relations between the two countries.

With two thirds of the global population projected to live in cities by 2050, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the needs of urban areas. The academic consensus is that it is getting harder to achieve governance, economic and well-being goals without engaging with partners in the wider international community.

The China International Friendship Cities Association counts 52 formal Sister City Partnerships between Chinese and British cities.

Partnering with a Chinese city has significant measurable benefits such as:

  • Increased city-wide cultural awareness
  • Educational partnerships and developments
  • An influx of business, tourism & trade
  • The sharing of valuable resources and approaches
  • Increased desirability and raised social profile
  • More investment in the local economy.

We have facilitated many Sister City Partnerships, including the iconic relationship between Liverpool and Shanghai, for which we championed the 20th anniversary celebrations in 2019.

Links like these have a tremendous impact on a region’s international awareness, bringing social benefits that reach far into local communities as well as across the region and UK.

Leicestershire-Sichuan Partnership Past Activity

  • Newly appointed Governor, Mr. Zhang Haoruo, visited Leicestershire in November 1988 to sign an agreement on the establishment of a friendly relationship between Leicestershire and Sichuan.
  • Since then more than 300 Leicestershire businesses have made links, and 10 county schools are twinned with counterparts.
  • In 2004, the Leicestershire-Sichuan Trade Bureau was established, supported by the County Council, Leicestershire Economic Partnership, Business Link Leicestershire, Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade & Investment. Since it’s launch, the Bureau has provided support to over 100 businesses.
  • Following a previous trade mission from Leicester to Sichuan, Charnwood Council was asked if it would like to form a special link with Leshan, also part of the Sichuan province. The council decided in the end that it would not embark on its own exchange activity with the city but instead continue to support the work already ongoing between Leicestershire and Sichuan.
  • Following the 2008 earthquake, Leicester school William Bradford Community College raised money to help their sister school in Nanshan that was affected. The school had also visited their fellow students on an exchange programme in 2007.
  • A landmark strategy designed to boost trade and investment with China was unveiled at a special celebration event in 2018 for the 30-year Anniversary of the twinning of Leicestershire and Sichuan. The blueprint was aimed at bolstering relationships between the two regions and opening the door for more local businesses.
  • In 2019, a delegation of government officials from the Sichuan province enjoyed an informative visit to Leicestershire to further strengthen their economic and cultural links. The stay involved a visit to the King Richard III Centre and cathedral and an exclusive tour of the Leicester City Football Stadium, before they attended a celebration dinner with key Leicester business leaders.