A LOTHIAN twinning association has received funding of £10,000 to help grow its cultural ties with Germany.
West Lothian Twinning Association received the funding in a bid to continue the strong links it has formed with Hochsauerlandkreis.
Since 1972, West Lothian Council and Hochsauerlandkreis have been promoting cultural exchanges.
Thousands of people have travelled to and from the twinned towns over the past 30 years.
The organisation can give financial assistance to schools or groups which are planning to visit Hochsauerlandkreis.
Any group involving young people is also encouraged to apply. Music groups, drama groups, schools, sports clubs and youth groups have all benefited.
Much of the 10,000 on offer from West Lothian Council, will be used to support various projects throughout 2005. This month, three West Lothian music teachers travel to Hochsauerlandkreis to participate in workshops and co-ordinate an orchestral exchange.
President of the West Lothian Twinning Association, Liz Liddell, said: "The fund gives youngsters a taste of another culture and they can experience how youngsters in Germany use their leisure time.
"The partnership is beneficial to both towns and enables visitors to get more out of their visits through local knowledge.
"The association gives young people the chance to form long-lasting friendships with people in Europe and gives them greater awareness."