A twinning ceremony took place yesterday (Monday) at Barnstaple Guildhall.

Barnstaple has cemented bonds with Scandinavia after signing a new twinning agreement yesterday (Monday) evening.

The town officially twinned with the Norwegian town of Harstad in a special ceremony held at the Guildhall.

Barnstaple Town Council welcomed a small party from the Norwegian town, including Mayor Marianne Bremnes.

Mayor of Barnstaple Val Elkins said: “After a discussion with councillors and Barnstaple Twinning Association we found it was an exciting prospect and were keen to accept.

“A new chapter will be starting for both towns and I am sure a strong bond will be built over time.”

After the signing of the twinning agreement, councillors were shown a short video of Harstad before gifts were exchanged between the two towns.

Mayor Bremnes told the council that the time had come to ‘make friends’.

“To you, our sister city, we want to learn more about your every day life,” she added.

“A twinning agreement will give us a better understanding.”

The visiting party are also scheduled to have a tour of Barnstaple and North Devon before a trip to RMB Chivenor.

Chivenor has been instrumental in cementing the link between the two towns, with Harstad hosting the Royal Marines’ cold weather warfare training for a number of years.