ITALIAN and Czech VIPS have been touring Bridgwater as part of a joint bid to win EU funding.

The Mayor and councillors from Bridgwater’s Czech twin town of Uherske Hradiste visited with senior lecturers from the Tomas Bata University.

The Mayor and chairman of the Italian town of Priverno also attended in the hope of forming a twinning association with Bridgwater.

Organised by Bridgwater International and Bridgwater Town Council, the aim was to try to secure EU funding through forging further links with countries in mainland Europe.

Cllr Brian Smedley, of Bridgwater International, said: “It’s about getting these groups together to make business, cultural, educational and sporting links.

“The town council would like to get all the existing twinnings together with some potential new ones such as Hungarian and the Italians who are over now.

“We want to get more countries together because then we’re more likely to get more funding from the EU.”

The Czechs and Italians met police and councillors during their stay, visited Hinkley Point and Bridgwater College, and went to Fordgate to see the floods clean-up operation.

In the past, football teams, choirs and students from Bridgwater College have visited the European twinned towns.

The town council is looking for people to come forward with their ideas for expanding the range of activities and links with the twin towns.

Cllr Smedley said: “We would like to get people thinking of more ideas for what our towns could do together.

“We’ve been doing these sorts of things for a while, but we want to ratchet it up a step or two.”