Rededication in 2004
The first Charter of Cooperation was signed in September 1993 and rededicated in 2004.
The link between the communities of Ipswich and Arras is based on the mutual objectives of promoting educational, economic development, cultural, sporting and social exchanges.
During those ten years many exchanges have taken place and links forged, including:
- between pupils and teachers of the Suffolk College, the University of Artois and Lycees
- exchanges of work experience placements
- visits and tours between football teams
- performances by the Ipswich Choral Society and its French counterpart
- between the Triangle (Ipswich) Motorcycle Club and the Moto Club Arrageoise
- participation in the Ipswich Music Day and Fetes de la musique by Ipswich and Arras musicians
- tourism exchanges
- tourism and economic development exhibitions
- mutual support for economic development; and a European Commission supported project involving the Ipswich and Arras Rugby Union Clubs
Arras is situated just one hour’s drive from the port of Calais and boasts many attractions. Historically, Arras was an important military centre since Roman times and many battles have been fought for control of the city.
The First World War saw major battles in and around Arras and the city centre itself was virtually completely destroyed. Many battlefield memorials exist on the plains and hills surrounding Arras, including Vimy Ridge, the Somme and Thiepval.
Under the Place des Heros – the smaller of the two main city squares - old chalk workings were used by the British Army as an underground garrison with tunnels stretching many miles to the front line. The tunnels – les bouves – are open to tourists.
Place Des Heros
The city also hosts a wonderful museum and the impressive Abbey St Vaast.
Other attractions include a massive market held every Saturday morning on the Place des Heros, the reconstructed Flemish buildings surrounding the main squares and a wealth of restaurants, cafes and bars.
Arras is ideally situated for excursions to Lille, the beautiful waterlands of the Somme valley and Paris is just one hour away by TGV.
There have been a host of other exchanges and further information can be obtained by contacting:
Mr Kevin Marsh
Ipswich Borough Council
Tel: (01473) 432021
Mme Betty Contart
Centre Administratif Municipal
Place Guy Mollet
Tel: (00 33) 3 21 50 51 01
The two communities also have organised supporting Associations which play a major and important role in supporting exchanges – with logistical help and linguistic expertise. Membership is open to all with an interest in the Ipswich-Arras link.
Mr John Field
60 Henley Road
Tel: 01473 211396
M Alain Lautel