DISTINGUISHED figures from the world of music, the arts, the military and church will be honoured by The University of Sunderland next week.

Five honoraries and almost 3,000 graduates will receive their awards from the university's new Chancellor Emeli Sandé at its graduation ceremonies from July 8 to 12.

Sunderland-born singer songwriter Martin Longstaff, better known as The Lake Poets, has long been recognized as a great talent but Netflix’s documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die took his music to the world stage, thanks to his theme tune Shipyards.

He graduated from the university with a degree in primary education in 2012 and will receive an honorary fellowship alongside musician and campaigner Nadine Shah.

Born in Whitburn, Miss Shah was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2018 for her third album Holiday Destination. As well as her music, she campaigns on mental health and inequality issues.

Honorary Doctor of Arts Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, has had a long and distinguished career in the arts, and is a frequent visitor to Sunderland and the North East. He will be recognised for championing culture and creative industries.

The University and city’s close links with the military will be celebrated when Mitch Mitchell, a Major General in the British Army, is made an Honorary Doctor of Technology in recognition of his work developing strategic thinking and leadership skills, across the Forces.

Also honoured will be The Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, with an Honorary Doctorate of Education for her achievements as a theologian and promoting diversity, in particular the ordination of women.

Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell said: "Without exception, they have all made a significant contribution in their chosen field of work. Not only that, they are an inspiration to our graduates who are celebrating their academic success before embarking on the next phase of life.

“The University of Sunderland has been life-changing for the class of 2019.

"Every individual recognised at graduation has the potential to make a major difference to our region and to wider society, both nationally and internationally. They are truly the tomorrow makers.”

Almost 12,000 people will attend the academic awards at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, which are estimated to bring £1m to the region.