Australian shop opens in Cirencester as town strengthens links with Bathurst

A number of products all the way from Australia are now on sale in Cirencester.

The local information centre (LIC) Bingham House is now home to a range of literature and products from Bathurst, New South Wales.

There are items to buy as well as a display in the foyer of Bingham House and Library.

It is all part of a friendship initiative between the Australian city and Cirencester which was set up in 2017 after the Bathurst Regional Council had approached Cirencester Town Council with a view to forming a friendship two year’s earlier.

The initiative is supported by Cirencester Town Council, Cirencester Community Development Trust, the 9th Earl Bathurst and Bathurst Regional Council. A Memorandum of Understanding between Cirencester Town Council and Bathurst Regional Council was officially signed earlier this year.

In 1815 the City of Bathurst was named after the 3rd Earl Bathurst whose family has lived in Cirencester since 1695.

A launch event for the new Bathurst Experience was held at Bingham House on October 28 with members of the friendship agreement on hand to talk about it and the links with Bathurst.

There is already a Cirencester shop in Bathurst. Both are the brainchild of Simon King, who emphasised the opportunities for both communities when he spoke at the launch.

Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was also present at the launch and said: “It is important to build relations all over the world and the link with Australia is very special. The pandemic has been a huge interruption but hopefully now we can build on the friendship and business links between the city and Cirencester.”

The Earl Bathurst said “I am delighted that we have been able to launch the Bathurst Experience, to build on and grow the friendship and links between our two communities, as they have so many similarities.”

Councillor Claire Bloomer, mayor of Cirencester, said: “Our international friendship and twinning links are really important; we want to raise awareness of opportunities for individuals and organisations within our communities and particularly in education and sport.

“The experience initiative, at our LIC, forms part of the wider commitment in promoting tourism and the economy. Please pop in to see us, visiting the LIC is a perfect opportunity to buy gifts and find out more about the Town Council all year round.”

The Cirencester branch of the friendship will soon be announcing the next student to go over to Australia. Alice Chandler of Cirencester College made the trip back in 2018.

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