Following last week's announcement by Newcastle City Council of a rolling programme of £90 million in cuts per year, the House of Lords has been debating their impact on culture across Tyneside.
A minister, Viscount Younger, accepted that 'sustained investment' in culture has made Newcastle a centre of culture contributing to the regional economy and the quality of life.
But he added that councils had to reduce their spending.
Viscount Younger said council grants per head of population were significantly higher in the North East than in the South East.
The former leader of Newcastle Council Lord Beecham challenged the minister's version of events, saying the council was being asked to take a disproportionate hit.
More top news
Sunday nig.ht's Forecast
Police have seized 539 units of alcohol from drinkers as young as 15 in a bid to crack down on underage bingeing.
"Big Sam" was spotted letting his hair down in the seaside resort weeks after securing Premier League survival for Sunderland.