History of the Twinning Arrangements between Dortmund and Leeds – Part 2: 1969-2019


On the 2nd June 1969, the Lord Mayor of Leeds and the Oberbürgermeister of Dortmund signed a letter confirming the status of Leeds and Dortmund as „Twinned Cities“.

The IPA members of Leeds and Dortmund have a long history together since our first meeting in 1969.

The IPA of both Leeds and Dortmund have participated in every official organised twinning celebrations and have maintained a close friendly relationship since this time. This relationship has resulted in fast friendships and many private visits between the members of the organisation.

Am 2. Juni 1969 unterzeichneten der Oberbürgermeister von Leeds und der Oberbürgermeister von Dortmund ein Schreiben, in dem der Status von Leeds und Dortmund als „Partnerstädte“ bestätigt wurde.

Die IPA-Mitglieder von Leeds und Dortmund haben seit unserem ersten Treffen im Jahr 1969 eine lange gemeinsame Geschichte.

Die IPA von Leeds und Dortmund hat an allen offiziell organisierten Partnerschaftsfeiern teilgenommen und pflegt seit dieser Zeit eine enge freundschaftliche Beziehung. Aus dieser Beziehung sind schnelle Freundschaften und viele private Besuche zwischen den Mitgliedern der Organisation entstanden.

Some of the highlights /einige der Höhepunkte:

Leeds visit to „INKODO“ (Ein Kostümfest in Dortmund, jedes Jahr am letzten Wochenende im Januar)

Dortmund visit to Leeds 50th Anniversary Leeds/Dortmund Twinning

25th Anniversary of the twinning of Leeds and Dortmund
The Resigning of the charter in Leeds Civic Hall in 1995

On the Left is myself, Secretary of Leeds IPA Branch In the middle is Reinhardt Kappelmann, The President of Dortmund IPA branch On the right is Dennis Aldam who was Chairman of Leeds IPA Branch

Lord Mayor’s Partner City Cycle Ride

The Lord Mayor of Leeds is hosting a charity cycle ride to raise money for LOFFTY (Leeds Offers Fun For The Young). Forty keen cyclists wishing to experience what it’s like to ‘ride like a pro’ will take part in the six-day cycle starting in Leeds’  twin town of Dortmund, in Germany, before cycling to another of Leeds’ partner cities, Lille, in France. Cyclists will then return to the UK by taking an overnight ferry to Hull before riding to Leeds city centre alongside hundreds of other cyclists, where a grand reception will await them.

Leeds Offers Fun For The Young (LOFFTY) is a charity which aims to provide fun activities for young people in the city during and after school, at weekends and throughout the school holiday.s.

International Relations will be arranging for the cyclists civic reception with our twin city’s Mayors.

Library Exchange Partnership

October 1, 2018

The European Day of Languages was also a great occasion for us to open a new permanent display in the Information Centre of Leeds Central Library on the second floor. Anyone interested in learning more about Leeds’ partner cities can now find information, literature and travel guides about Lille, Dortmund, Siegen, Hangzhou, Brno and Durban in Leeds Central Library. The material displayed in the Partner City Collection was kindly sent to us by the library services of our partner cities and equally we have shared books about Leeds with them.

German Mayors join Leeds Remembrance Sunday events

This weekend the Mayor of our German partner cities of Dortmund and Siegen joined civic dignitaries and thousands of Leeds residents to mark 100 years since the Armistice, and to remember those who died in the 1st and 2nd world wars.

Mayor Mues of Siegen and Mayor Sierau of Dortmund both laid wreaths at the civic ceremony, alongside the Lord Mayor of Leeds and the Leeds Children’s Mayor.

Earlier in the weekend, Mayor Sierau visited John Charles Centre for Sport to learn about our inclusive sport provision, particularly our “This Girl Can” campaign and our extensive disability sports programme.

He was then joined by Mayor Mues at The Tetley contemporary art gallery where they began a tour of Leeds South Bank, sharing experiences of city centre regeneration, the importance of multi-modal transport infrastructure and lots of discussion around the opportunities for waterfront regeneration.

Youth for Peace and Democracy

May 8, 2018

The key aim of city partnerships is their contribution to international understanding and peace among nations. Where friendships grow between people of different countries there is no room for hatred, intolerance and warfare. This vision of peaceful co-existence has sparked many city twinnings after World War II – like the partnership between Leeds and the German city of Dortmund.

In 2018, 100 years after the end of World War I, Dortmund has invited youth groups from all its partner cities to participate in an International Youth Summit and join the city festival DortBUNT, a colourful celebration of tolerance and diversity. For seven days young people from Dortmund, Leeds, Amiens (France), Netanya (Israel), Novi Sad (Serbia), Rostov-on-Don (Russia) and Zwickau (Germany) have experienced Dortmund’s diversity first-hand, learned about different cultures and made friends with each other.

On 1st May, the visit started with the May Day events organised by the Federation of German Trade Unions where the young people could learn about the labour movement and the workers’ struggle for a solidary society that values their rights. During the following days, the young people explored Dortmund, learned more about the different partnerships with Dortmund’s twin cities, got to see a German high school from the inside and participated in the DortBUNT festival [bunt meaning colourful]. Sports also featured strongly in the programme Dortmund had pulled together for the young people and so international understanding grew in a match of volleyball and a visit to the Signal Iduna Park stadium, home of the football team BV Borussia Dortmund 09, which mentors children and young people to create a tolerant community free from racism and xenophobia – an idea inspired by the Leeds United Learning Centre.