THE Wildcats of Kilkenny frontman has joined forces with Stockton Riverside College to help students discover new ways of bringing their performance into the community.

Mike McGrother's unique creative residency with the college, will see him working with students to help them become a driving force in the cultural programme.

And the timing couldn’t be better as the area works to secure its place as City of Culture 2025.

“It is so important for young people who want a career in the creative sector, be that as a performer or on the technical side of the business, to recognise the fantastic possibilities that are opening up to them,” he said Mike. “With the proposed City of Culture status it feels like a good time to be passing on some of what I have learned and getting the students thinking about the possibilities that are here on their doorsteps.”

Stockton Riverside College’s Campus Principal, Lesley Graham, said: “I’m delighted that Mike is working with us to help develop our performing arts and technical theatre academy. The Tees Valley has an increasing reputation for hosting largescale events which attract tens of thousands of visitors such as Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) and most recently of course the Great North City Games.

“Add to the mix Stockton’s Georgian Theatre, Arc and the upcoming Globe Theatre, and it is clear there’s a real need to work with young people to ensure they have the wide ranging skills that Stockton and the Tees Valley require to support all the great things planned in the run up to our City of Culture 2025 bid.”