Art and Culture cuts in the North-East

Newcastle has always been known to be a city of art and culture and it within its walls are some of the best cultural emblems in the UK. The Baltic art gallery is visited from people all around the world and it has displayed some of the finest pieces of art you can find today, also the Baltic is joined by award-winning architecture like the Sage music arena and the Millenium Bridge on the quayside of Newcastle and Gateshead to provide a showpiece of culture for both tourists and locals.

So when it was announced by the City Council that their funding for arts and culture were to be cut it caused much frustration amongst the city. A total loss of 1.5m in public funding will be lost it has been projected which will no doubt cripple the arts in the city, organisations such as Theatre Royal, Dance City and Northern Stage will have to survive on profits alone which is a very big ask in today's current climate. An article in The Guardian hit the nail on the head when saying that 'the decision means the city will soon become a test case for the survival of the arts in a harsh climate, rather than a shining example of the positive impact of cultural investment'.

These cuts have created an opposition from well known north-east artists such as Sting, Bryan Ferry and Marc Knopfler who have openly criticised the council's decision. In a letter written to the council which includes the signatures of those mentioned says the cuts will "decimate the cultural life of the city".

As much as the criticism is well deserved, Councillor Nick Forbes has came out with a statement explaining the need for these cuts. In his statement he admits that the cuts have been "forced upon us" and that he himself shares the anger and upset that the cuts have created.

However, the Councillor does explain why the cuts have been made and the reasoning behind them paint a shocking picture of the general climate in today's society. He explains that "arts come before life and death services like children's social work" which I am sure no-one could argue about but this does show worrying signs away from the cuts that councils around the UK aren't getting the support they need for these vital services like elderly care and care for the vulnerable.

The cuts in art and culture in the North-East can't just been seen as a "terrible breach of faith" as Anthony Sargent, general director of the Sage Gateshead' believes they are but as make-or-break decision to save some of the most important services around which provide life saving support for many of people in the region. I am sure that the council know how much we care about the arts and our culture in this region so they hopefully will give funding where they can but the safety and support of our own neighbours is a major priority.

The arts will always shine brightly in our region and the North-East will come out on top of the battle and the public will help as much as they can.


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