MOTORISTS will get a continental feel when they drive along a Wearside street.
To celebrate 60 years of the twinning partnership between Saint-Nazaire, France and Sunderland, a new road in Ryhope has been named Saint-Nazaire Way.
Visitors from Saint-Nazaire and Sunderland City Council members were joined by children from Hill View Infant and Junior schools to put the final touches to a road sign on the 4km stretch of road which forms part of the Southern Radial Route.
As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations a delegation from Saint-Nazaire, led by Pascal Grange, travelled to Sunderland to visit schools and Fairtrade organisations, meet city businesses hosting work placements, and discuss future joint activities.
More than 8,500 jobs in Sunderland are with French-owned companies and each year engineering students travel to Sunderland from Saint-Nazaire’s Polytech’Nantes for three months to gain experience in vehicle and automotive development.
Schools have also helped to drive forward the twinning partnership with European funded projects between Saint-Nazaire and Sunderland schools bringing a new focus on sustainability and fair trade through teacher exchange.
Pascal Grange, deputy mayor of Saint-Nazaire, said: “The outward-looking approach of Sunderland has helped keep the twinning arrangements between our two communities strong and vibrant. It is wonderful to see the difference our joint projects are making to schoolchildren and Polytech’Nantes students because of Sunderland’s commitment to its international relationships.
“We are honoured to have a road in Sunderland named Saint-Nazaire Way. It celebrates the long route we have travelled together, and its location, looking out to sea, reminds us of our joint maritime history.”
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are very proud of our productive 60-year relationship with Saint-Nazaire. Sunderland and Saint-Nazaire both look to the future, and we have channelled our combined projects towards the next generation, with an emphasis on schools and young people’s activity.
“We’re proud to be a European city and our business links with France are strong and growing. Sixty years ago both countries looked very different for business and residents. We now have global leading companies in our city which are working with Saint-Nazaire students to spread the benefits of growth.