Twin Towns UK : Call for Applications

October 10, 2016

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The Carnegie UK Trust has today announced that it is open for applications for its brand new Twin Towns UK initiative, a programme designed with the support of an Expert Reference Group to modernise and make relevant the traditional concept of town twinning, dating back to the Second World War.

Towns with a population of less than 80,000 are encouraged to get in touch and submit an application to participate in the 18 month programme, which will ‘twin’ towns with similar characteristics or challenges and support them to work together to consider how to make positive change in the future.

Up to 10 towns will be selected and their distinct characteristics identified using the typology developed by the ground-breaking ‘Understanding Scottish Places’ data platform for town practitioners and communities (   This Carnegie UK developed tool defines a number of key characteristics of Scottish places, the principles of which can be used to analyse the characteristics of other UK towns.

In January 2017 successful applicants, will be assigned a £7,500 Research and Learning account to fund a range of activities including short programme of exchange visits, data gathering and research, economic development and planning advice and their own public consultation exercise. Producing a Development Plan as a result of the activity, twinned towns will then have access to small kick start funds and further support in order to start making their ideas a reality.

Find out how to apply here.

Jim Metcalfe, Head of Development, Carnegie UK Trust, said:

“We’re excited about Twin Town UK, and the opportunities it will offer towns to learn and find new ways to deliver growth. It is a learning project, so we will be sharing lots of evidence about the partnerships to help other places too.

Too often, when we think about local economic development, we treat each town like it is an island. We look at it in isolation, and forget that places – just like people – need to co-operate to succeed.

We hope that lots of towns will want to be a part of this innovative programme for growth, and that partner organisations from across the UK will get involved in supporting them”.

The Trust are looking for enthusiastic applicants that know the distinct challenges facing their town and would value the time and resources to share ideas, address these critical issues and start making entrepreneurial change happen through a partnership with another town.

To enter, interested organisations should complete the application form with reference to the application guidance notes that can be found here. The deadline for completed applications is Friday 25 November 2016. If you have any queries, please email T[email protected].



For Carnegie UK Trust media enquiries, please contact Billy Partridge, Kirsty Anderson or Gerard Klein at Grayling on 0131 226 2363 or [email protected]


The Carnegie UK Trust was established in 1913 by Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK with particular regard to people who are disadvantaged.

The Trust operates the ‘Flourishing Towns’ programme that supports research, policy and practical work to empower prosperity and social wellbeing in town communities. The Trust runs TestTown, the UK’s biggest skills programme for high street entrepreneurs. It led the consortium that built and launched Understanding Scottish Places, Scotland’s first online data platform to compare data for every town and city in the country. It will shortly publish groundbreaking research on global best practice for achieving broad-based transformations in towns suffering economic challenge, which will evidence that very local control, clear and coherent purpose, and understanding interrelationships are all key to sustained success.