A host of musicians including Bryan Ferry, Sting, Neil Tennant and Mark Knopfler have attacked Newcastle City Council for slashing its culture budget.
In a letter to The Guardian, the musicians protest against the local authority’s plans to completely cut its £2.5 million culture budget, calling the decision a “shortsighted attack” on Newcastle’s cultural life and say the council risks “throwing away a shared cultural heritage … built up by generations and generations of ordinary people in the city.”
The blanket cuts to the arts, come as part of a £90 million budget reduction from Newcastle’s public services by 2016 would result in “generations of young people denied access to the opportunities we were given and, without the council’s support, the arts will simply become a pursuit for the most wealthy,” the musicians say.
Some of the organisations affected by the proposed cuts include the Northern Stage and Live Theatre, as well as the Great North Museum. The proposals are currently up for public consultation and will be decided upon in March.