A move to twin Stonehaven with a suburb of Paris and strengthen a “beautiful friendship” between Scotland and France will be formally agreed in May.
North East Conservative region MSP Liam Kerr has spoken in favour of moves to twin the Mearns with Acheres.
The May agreement will mark the culmination of 18 months of hard work by Stonehaven and District Community Council.
Mr Kerr said he believes the educational, sporting and business benefits are plain to see and he has asked the Scottish Parliament to support the scheme with a Holyrood motion, also highlighting the work of Stonehaven Business Association, Mackie Academy, Dunnottar Primary School, Visit Scotland and local sporting clubs and landowners in the organisation.
“Stonehaven is one of the north east’s jewels in the crown,” he said.
“Even on an overcast day, there is much to see and do, and its coastal location is widely sought after as soon as the sun emerges.
“No matter the weather, people come from all over the country to use the famous outdoor pool.
“Add in award-winning food and drink outlets, and I can’t see why its merits shouldn’t help the French make an easy choice to visit.
“As a French speaker and Francophile, I can’t wait to welcome our first official visitors.”
Mr Kerr’s motion has been supported by 19 of his Scottish Conservative colleagues.
It reads: “That the Parliament commends the work of the Stonehaven and District Community Council on securing a twin town with Acheres, a suburb of Paris; understands that an agreement to officially recognise the twinning will be signed during the Fete De La Pentecote 20 May 2018 in the Place De L’église, Acheres town square, when a delegation from Stonehaven will travel to the town; recognises that the ceremony will mark the culmination of 18 months of hard work when Community Council chairperson, Phil Mills-Bishop, signs a concordat with Marc Honore, mayor of Acheres; notes that the twinning and concordat signing will conclude when Marc Honore and a French delegation visit Dunnottar Castle at Stonehaven, between 7 and 8 July; acknowledges that, following the signing ceremonies, a steering group will be formed to arrange events and progress the relationship; recognises what it sees as the tremendous support from the local Stonehaven Business Association, Mackie Academy, Dunnottar Primary School, Visit Scotland and local sporting clubs and landowners; understands that funding will now be sought for around six suitable commemorative plaques, based on Stonehaven’s coat of arm, to be placed at various locations, and wishes the partnership every success for the future.”