Derbyshire – Toyota

Click here for detailed information on recent activities.


In 1998 Toyota City signed a formal twinning agreement with Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council creating a unique link which continues to go from strength to strength. The twinning link was established as a result of the Toyota manufacturing plant opening in Burnaston, which had a very positive impact on the local Derbyshire economy.

2008 – 10 year anniversary

In 2008 many projects, activities and exchanges were held to celebrate the ten years of twinning between the two regions.  The first project was an ‘Educational Artist Exchange Programme’ to embed the global dimension into the classroom and raise awareness of the twinning link.

In May 2008 Japanese musician Yuhi Watanabe visited Derbyshire for three months to deliver workshops to Derbyshire students and community groups on how to play the Shamisen, a traditional three stringed instrument. Yuhi also gave talks on Japanese culture, language and art.

In September 2008 Derbyshire Artist Debi Hedderwick visited Toyota City to deliver workshops on contemporary dance and English customs to Japanese students. Debi took part in the official twinning ceremony hosted by Toyota City in Kuragaike Park, which was also attended by the Derbyshire Youth Chorale and visiting Derbyshire dignitaries.

In July 2008 the Toyota City Junior Orchestra visited Derbyshire to perform at various locations around the county.  The group was lead by Mrs Akiko Toyoda and the Toyota City Cultural Promotion Foundation and consisted of 42 members ranging in age from 13-19.

In September 2008 the annual schools exchange programme took place, 26 students took part in the educational and home-stay programme.

In October 2008 the Derbyshire Youth Chorale visited Toyota City to perform at various locations in the region as well as performing at the official twinning ceremony.  The group consisted of 32 members and was lead by the Derby and Derbyshire Music Partnership.

In November 2008 civic dignitaries from Toyota City, including Mayor Suzuki and the Chairman of Toyota City Council, Dai Nakane, visited Derbyshire County Council’s headquarters to mark the decennial twinning anniversary. Members of the Toyota City Council delegation visited various council departments and local schools in order to share good practice in service delivery.

On 17th November, the visitors took part in a twinning ceremony hosted by Derbyshire County Council at County Hall, where they discussed how to strengthen and develop the link. They also visited various sights of interest in the county before presenting Derbyshire with traditional Japanese stone lanterns to commemorate the twinning link. During the November celebrations, a cultural delegation of 39 members also visited Derbyshire for a week; the group consisted of traditional Japanese Dancers and Ikebana Masters. The group held workshops and performances for Derbyshire students and citizens at Highfields School, Lady Manners School, Westfield Centre in Derby and County Hall as well as performing at the official twinning ceremony.

On 18th November 2008, in recognition of the strength of the twinning link, the Japan Local Government Centre chose to stage their annual Seminar Day at County Hall in Matlock. Speakers at the event included Tom Levitt MP, Mayor Suzuki of Toyota City,  Director Fujishima of JLGC, Andy Sawford the Chief Executive of LGIU, Nick Hodgson Chief Executive of Derbyshire County Council, Dr Peter Matanle, and TMUK’s Clive Bridge.   The topic of the seminar was ‘Sustaining Regeneration through Partnership Working in the Changing Economic Climate’.

Click here for detailed information on recent activities.


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