OXFORD is set to go Gallic later this year as the city celebrates its long-standing relationship with a French friend.

A series of events are planned across the city as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the twinning link between Oxford and Grenoble.

Official representatives and twinning association members from Grenoble will travel to Oxford to take part in the week of festivities starting in April.

Mel Houldershaw, chairman of the Oxford-Grenoble Association, said: “The twinning link brings friendship and understanding of people from a different country.

“The lessons we can learn from each other are fantastic. It is really an exchange of ideas and knowledge.”

The week will include a special programme of art exhibitions, book events, popular and classical concerts, and photography displays.

It will be launched by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Dee Sinclair, and Ms Houldershaw, on April 26, at 11am at a reception in the town hall.

Around 80 performers from Grenoble will come to Oxford and exhibitions of work by artists from both cities will feature.

There will be a joint Anglo-French concert featuring the Oxford and Grenoble twin choirs, East Oxford Community Choir and Ensemble Vocal Interlude.

A Grenoble-themed market stall will be at Gloucester Green on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.

Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our friends from Grenoble.

“The Silver Jubilee of the twinning is an auspicious occasion and the Alliance Grenoble-Oxford put on a really enjoyable week of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

“I am sure that the programme for the 25th anniversary will be equally successful and will reflect the strong links that have developed between our two cities.”

The official twinning link between Oxford and Grenoble in south-eastern France goes back to the 1980s.

Since 1989 there have been regular exchanges between Oxford and Grenoble which have had educational, sporting, professional and cultural links.

The Oxford-Grenoble Association is a voluntary group open to the public. For more information contact Jean Burrell on 01865 249062 or jean.burrell@ntlworld.com

City boasts ancient university

Grenoble is a city in south-eastern France at the foot of the Alps.

It is known as the capital of the Alps because of its size and proximity to the mountains.

Like Oxford, it has a long history dating back more than 2,000 years and is also an historic university city.

The University of Grenoble was commissioned by Pope Benedict XII 1339.

It is also a similar size to Oxford, as there are just over 150,000 Grenoblois.

In 1968 the city hosted the Winter Olympics.