Sting, Bryan Ferry and Neil Tennant are among the stars who have spoken out to protest against arts funding cuts in their native north east England.

The three musicians, who all hail from England's north east, are fuming over plans to slash the arts and culture budget in the city of Newcastle and they claim the move will be "economically disastrous" to the local community.

They have all signed a letter, sent to British newspaper The Guardian, to warn officials at Newcastle City Council not to neglect arts in the region.

The letter reads, "As artists with strong connections to Newcastle and the north east, we are alarmed... (that) Newcastle City Council has proposed a 100 per cent cut to its arts budget. The council's support helps arts organisations attract many millions of pounds in yearly investment to the city and the effects will be economically disastrous both to the arts organisations and to hundreds of businesses which benefit from their success...

"Generations of young people will be 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 letter has also been signed by Dire Straits star Mark Knopfler, actor/rocker Jimmy Nail, and actors Alun Armstrong, Robson Green and Tim Healy, who also all hail from the north east region.