COMEDIAN Stephen Merchant has joined the fight to save a North Finchley arts centre after the council announced funding cuts.

The star and co-writer of the BBC’s The Office, has joined thousands of campaigners battling the funding cuts to artsdepot in Nether Street.

Stephen Merchant said: “If we continue to let places like the artsdepot disappear, we’re going to wake up one day and find our greatest artistic achievement is a dancing dog on Britain’s Got Talent.

“Simon Cowell will be nailing the coffin closed on our cultural heritage.”

Director of artsdepot, Nigel Cutting, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from artists like Stephen Merchant who appreciate the important cultural contribution made by artsdepot both locally and more widely.

“We are urging everybody to help appeal this decision by filling out the council’s consultation document and signing our petition, details of which can be found on our website.”

Barnet council plans to cut all core funding to artsdepot. Councillor Robert Rams, cabinet member for customer access and partnerships, said: “We have to bear in mind that Barnet remains part of one of the world’s great cultural capitals and we’re fortunate to have a rich variety of arts provision, much of it free, just half an hour or so away on the Tube.

“We will obviously continue talks about funding with the artsdepot and we will do all we can to assist them in reaching the levels of funding they need.”