Bottrop funds slashed as belts are tightened

Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
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Funding for Blackpool’s historic twin town link up is set to be slashed as the tough economic climate starts to bite Town Hall budgets.

The resort is currently linked up with the German town of Bottrop, but a total of just £2,600 was spent on trips between the two last year due to financial pressures in both England and Germany.

Bottrop Town Hall

Bottrop Town Hall

And the budget for the twin town project will be slashed in the coming year by at least five per cent in an effort to ease the strain on council funds.

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn said: “Our historic twinning link with Bottrop is a valuable relationship that we are keen to keep alive.

“It dates back to the Second World War and has, over the years, been extremely beneficial.

“However, it is right to say that in the last few years both towns have accepted the need to limit cost because of the financial climate.

“As such costs have been dramatically scaled back.

“As a result, activities are minimal although we do continue to stay in close contact.”

The mining town of Bottrop lies within the Ruhr industrial area of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous of Germany’s 16 Bundeslander (Federal states).

Other nearby towns and cities include Bochum, Dortmund, Essen, Oberhausen and Gelsenkirchen.

It is estimated around 40 per cent of the population of Bottrop claims some Polish ancestry, mostly as descendents of 19th century immigrants.

The city was bombed during the Second World War.

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