The mayor of Sunderland’s twinned city has returned to Sunderland College’s Bede Campus this week, more than forty years after he studied at the centre.
Mayor of Saint Nazaire, Monsieur Joel Batteux OBE, paid a visit to the Durham Road campus, as he visited Wearside to be awarded Freedom of the City and to attend the annual remembrance ceremony in Mowbray Park.
Monsieur Batteux studied as an exchange student in 1958 at our longest established Bede Campus, when the college operated as a grammar school. He was keen to return to see how the campus is now being used and to learn more about the work of Sunderland College’s students.
Anne Isherwood, principal, said she was delighted to welcome Monsieur Batteux to Bede Campus, and to have the chance to tell him about the on-going work at the college to equip Sunderland’s young people and adult learners with the skills they need to succeed.
She said: “It was a real honour to welcome Monsieur Batteux back. Though we may be based in the same building that he was all those years ago, the current multi-million pound development work will transform the campus and the way we teach has changed immeasurably. It was great to talk to him about the work we are doing to help the city succeed.”
Monsieur Batteux spent time with Mrs Isherwood, before having a tour of the college and visiting some Business Studies students to find out more about their course. The twinning of Sunderland and Saint Nazaire means that the college has played host to students from the French coastal town in the past, giving them chance to find out more about Sunderland and the UK.
Mrs Isherwood added: “Sunderland and Saint Nazaire have been twinned for sixty years this year, and there is a strong sense of partnership between the areas. It is great to welcome the mayor of a place that is so closely aligned with the city, as part of a special trip for Monsieur Batteux as he is awarded the great honour of the Freedom of the City.”