INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed Welsh rock star Mike Peters will take on a new challenge this year.

During the band's sold out three day "The Gathering" event from Friday, February 1, it was revealed Mike is the new patron of Venue Cymru.

Mike, who was born in Prestatyn, grew up in Rhyl and now lives in Dyserth formed the rock band The Alarm in 1981 and went on to achieve worldwide success with the band. During his long career Mike has performed with a number of legendary artists such as Bono and U2, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

Mike said: “It’s an absolute honour to be asked to be the new patron of Venue Cymru.

“I’ve played some of my favourite gigs here in the past and it’s important that there’s a venue like this in North Wales which attracts high quality international acts and nurtures local talent too.

“I think it’s really important that young people are encouraged to perform in large arenas, and that they get the opportunity to see influential bands and plays on their doorstep. I’m proud of Venue Cymru for enabling that to happen.”

"The Gathering" has been held in North Wales for 27 years and for the majority of those at Venue Cymru. The weekend of music and entertainment attracts fans from all over the world, and a similar event in New York in April has already sold out.

Sarah Ecob, General Manager of Venue Cymru, welcomed Mike as patron, saying: “Mike Peters has been an influential and inspiring member of the north Wales community since The Alarm's first hit.

“Venue Cymru has been lucky to have an association with Mike for many of those years, in particular with The Gathering, an annual celebration of The Alarm attended by people from all over the world. We are delighted that Mike has agreed to be our Patron and we are looking forward to working with him in the coming years.”

This latest role adds to the prolific musician's ever growing interests, including the charity he co- founded, the Love Hope Strength Foundation, over 10 years ago to help ‘save lives one concert at a time’.

Over the past decade Love Hope Strength, which operates in the UK and the USA, has gone on to register over 200,000 people to international blood stem cell registries which has resulted in more than 4,000 potentially lifesaving matches being identified.

Mike will head to Buckingham Palace on February 21 where he will be awarded an MBE, which he has received for his services to charity, and he is also expected to reveal the line up for his annual Snowdon Rock's concert later this month.