THE north-eastern Italian town of Gubbio looks set to become the fourth town to be twinned with Huntingdon and Godmanchester.

The Huntingdon and Godmanchester Twinning Association (HGTS) has started the twinning process which could be completed by April of next year.

Two of Huntingdon's other twin towns - Wertheim in Germany and Salon de Provence in France, are already twinned with Gubbio. The final twin town is Szentendre in Hungary.

Malcom Lyons, chairman of HGTS, said it makes sense for Huntingdon to cement ties with the medieval town in the Umbrian region of Italy.

"We already have friendly links with Gubbio and have organised trips for both St Peter's and Hinchingbrooke schools in October [of this year] and April next year," he said.

"Every year teams of young people from all five towns compete in sporting competitions and take part in cultural events here and abroad. They also undertake work experience and have the opportunity to improve their language skills.

"Twinning also gives us the chance to draw upon the expertise of people in Europe in dealing with Brussels, which is important in gaining funding from the EU."

Mr Lyons said he was keen to continue to apply to the EU Social Fund for money for local youth projects, despite previously being unsuccessful. He added that the twinning process added gravitas to the applications because it enabled towns to work in partnership towards a common end.

One idea currently being considered by HGTS is a holiday for young carers scheme, which would enable young people to holiday in one of the twin tows as a form of respite.

Huntingdon Town Council has already voted in favour of the Gubbio tie up and a presentation will be made to Godmanchester Town Council at the end of August.

If agreed, there would be a ceremony in April to which representatives from all the other twin towns would be invited.