COLCHESTER is set to agree a new twinning arrangement with a Chinese city.

Mayor of Colchester Teresa Higgins has been asked to sign a Friendship City Relationship with Yangzhou.

If agreed by the cabinet tomorrow it will be the town’s fourth “twin”.

A report into the proposal said: “In October last year, the Mayor of Colchester and the leader of the council hosted visitors from the City of Yangzhou to explore opportunities to establish a productive partnership relationship with the city for the mutual benefit of both the borough and Yangzhou.

“As a result, the mayor has been invited by the City of Yangzhou to attend the city’s 2,500 year anniversary celebrations at the end of this month as a next step in the developing relationship between the two communities.”

The report does not detail how much the trip will cost, but it is estimated it could be about £3,000 per person for flights and accommodation.

The town has formed closer ties with the city, which has a population about eight times the size of Colchester at 1.38million.

Essex County Council already has a relationship with the Jiangsu Province where Yangzhou is located and the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service have shared exhibitions with a neighbouring city.

Twinning is simply a public statement between two communities to establish friendship and goodwill.

However, it is hoped the partnership will boost the town’s economy.

The report states the aims for Colchester are “promoting our heritage and working hard to shape our future”, “attracting business and selling Colchester as a destination” and “generating opportunities for growth and supporting infrastructure”.