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Bryan Ferry, Sting, Neil Tennant slam Newcastle culture budget cuts

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Newcastle city council has been criticised by a host of musicians with connections to the North-East for its planned cuts to the culture budget.

Music legends including Bryan Ferry, Sting and The Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant have sent an open letter to The Guardian opposing the "shortsighted attack" on the city's cultural life.

Bryan Ferry, ex-lead singer of the band Roxy Musc performing live on day 3 of GuilFest 2012 in Guildford

© WENN / Ricky Swift

Sting - The singer-songwriter celebrates his 60th birthday on Sunday.

© WENN.com



Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and Thomas Allen were also signatories alongside writers Pat Barker and Tony Harrison and actors Robson Green and Kevin Whately.

They call the cuts "economically disastrous", saying that "the council's support helps these arts organisations attract many millions of pounds in yearly investment to the city".

The signatories fear that the "blanket and pre-emptory" cuts could lead to "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 cuts are part of a £90 million budget reduction from Newcastle's public services by 2016.

Venues including Northern Stage and Live Theatre, as well as the Laing Art Gallery, Great North Museum and the Theatre Royal are expected to be most affected by the cuts.

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