The playwright Lee Hall, who wrote The Pitmen Painters and the screenplay for the film Billy Elliott will receive an honorary degree from Northumbria University.
He was born in Newcastle, and his work has been recognised internationally for his work on stage and screen. Much of his writing is rooted in the working class culture of the North East. A central theme in his work is the role of art in those communities.
He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters alongside students from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences at a ceremony today.
"I am thrilled to be honoured by the University at a time when Libraries and Arts are being threatened in the City. The recognition that culture and art is valued as centrally important to the University's concerns is more than simply a personal recognition, but a reminder of the vital part they play in all our lives."