A ‘RADIOACTIVE’ cultural festival which aims to bring Chernobyl and its community back to life will makes its debut later this month.

Following months of hard work for project leader Claire Baker, a textile lecturer from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD), the initiative is now ready to launch.

She has had to overcome numerous challenges to help create the Chernobyling Festival, which launches on August 30 in Ukrainian city of Slavutych, 60km from Chernobyl.

Working with a team of international artists, community leaders and tour operators, Ms Baker, from Norton near Stockton, has spent the past few months planning and organising artists and developing a programme of activities for visitors to the Festival.

She said: "I actually can’t believe I have done it. Getting involved with this project and working with these people has been amazing and I am really excited, although there have been lots of challenges and at times it has felt like a full time job alongside my other full time job at the college.

“It has been such a different experience from my everyday life and an exciting time to be part of something new and fresh. The workshop with NeSpoon will be amazing and to gain official permission on such an iconic part of Pripyat is a real privilege."

‘Chernobyling’, which was just a concept a few months ago, will very soon become a reality, with visitors expected from across the Ukraine, UK, Germany and Europe.

The three-day event includes free entry, with a series of lectures and variety of music on offer, and a small fee for the art workshops.

Ms Baker is also the project leader for a group of exhibiting artists, known as the 26:86 Collective, who will showcase their work at Hartlepool Art Gallery next month.