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Newcastle heritage will be sold to plug £100M funding gap

The carriage has acted as a coach to the Lord Mayor of Newcastle Credit: ITV News

Newcastle City Council is selling off a piece of the city's heritage in a bid to help plug a 100 million pound funding gap.

The Lord Mayor's official coach, which has been pulled through the streets of the city for more than 200 years, is valued at £50,000 and will go towards filling the funding gap.

The closing date for expressions of interest is midday Thursday, February 28th.

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"Save the City Hall" petition in full

The full text of the petition to save Newcastle City Hall reads as follows:

To:

Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council

Save Newcastle City Hall

We the undersigned, ask Newcastle City Council to recognise the historic importance of Newcastle City Hall and to ensure that the building is protected and remains an important cultural centre for Newcastle's people in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

– Petition, Change.org

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Council responds to arts criticism

Newcastle City Council has responded to an open letter from members of the arts community who have called the proposed spending cuts, particularly to arts, "totally unnecessary".

The council said it recognises that some of its decisions are not palatable but it can only spend the resources it has.

"We face unpalatable decisions which we know are counterproductive and, in many cases, false economy but the council can only spend the resources that it has as it faces losing more than a third of its budget over the next three years.

The reason for a long-term approach is to be able to talk with cultural organisations to find alternative sources of funding, and we are having positive discussions with organisations across the city about what we need to do together."

– Newcastle City Council

Cuts condemned by arts community

Newcastle City Council is set to make savings of nearly ninety million pounds Credit: ITV

Newcastle council's proposal to cut 100% of its arts funding has been condemned by prominent artists and musicians.

In an open letter to the city council, famous names connected to the region like Sting, Bryan Ferry and Mark Knopfler branded the authority's plans "totally unnecessary".

It is a "short-sighted attack on the arts" and the council risks "throwing away a shared cultural heritage that has been built up by generations and generations of ordinary people in the city", the letter said.

Neil Tennant, Robson Green and Jimmy Nail also signed the letter against the cuts which, if implemented, will affect venues including the Theatre Royal, the Northern Stage and City Hall.

The council should "rethink this baffling decision and find an appropriate way to preserve the arts in Newcastle", the letter concludes.

In response the council said it recognises that some of its decisions are not palatable but it can only spend the resources it has.

"It's an effective way to save money"

Two of the region's best known landmarks could be 'sponsored' next Christmas, as Newcastle City Council tries to make savings.

The Tyne Bridge and Grey's Monument could be supported by companies to pay for the running of Christmas lights.

The council says it's been forced to make cuts of more than 90 million pounds and can no longer afford the 175 thousand pounds which the lights cost.

Council proposes company sponsorship of city landmarks

Two of the region's best known landmarks could soon be 'sponsored' as Newcastle City Council tries to make savings.

It comes after the announcement that the council must make ninety million pounds worth of cuts.

The Tyne Bridge and Grey's Monument could soon be supported by companies which would pay for maintenance and at this time of year, Christmas lights.

We've been asking for your opinion about this idea.

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