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Investment needed to preserve City of Culture legacies – playwright

John Godber, who has lived most of his life in Hull, was given an OBE for services to the arts.

A Hull playwright has said the area needs continued investment if it is to keep the benefits it gained when it was the UK’s City of Culture.

John Godber, a miner’s son and former teacher, was given an OBE by the Duke of Cambridge for services to the arts at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The dramatist told the Press Association: “He (William) was talking about the City of Culture and whether we thought the City of Culture had delivered.

“I think it has generally, but like any of these projects it’s what happens next, so it’s the legacy, and that needs support and the oxygen of money to make work and also give the city confidence.

“You have to keep the kettle boiling… these enterprises can’t be like a sponsorship for a sport, where one year they do golf, the next year they do tennis, there has to be long term investment.”

Hull, where Mr Godber has lived most of his life, was awarded the status of being the UK’s City of Culture 2017.

The playwright, whose stage hits include Bouncers and Lucky Sods, has recently written a play about Brexit.

When asked if he thinks there is a duty for writers reflect the world around them, he said: “Without question, otherwise why are you doing it.

“That’s the job. The role is, I think, to reflect, to lift up the carpet in certain areas and say have a look at this.”

In 2000 Mr Godber had to stand in at one of his musicals at Hull Truck Theatre after the leading lady fell ill.

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