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Funding agreed for refurbishment at The Anvil and The Haymarket

News release 10355, published on 21 Mar 2023

A multi-million pound package of refurbishment work for The Anvil and The Haymarket has been agreed to ensure that two of the borough’s key cultural buildings are fit for the future.



Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has agreed to fund over £2.9 million of refurbishment work for The Anvil concert hall and The Haymarket theatre, which it owns.



Anvil Arts, the charitable trust that manages both venues, has been working with the council to create a maintenance and improvement plan for the buildings, with both the council and the trust carrying out and funding the work.



The whole programme over three years includes maintenance work on the roof of The Anvil and work on both buildings, including upgrades to toilets and electrical and mechanical systems.



Leader of the Council Cllr Simon Minas-Bound said: “Basingstoke and Deane’s cultural offer is an important part of what makes the borough a great place to live, work and visit.



“Recognised as having one of the finest acoustics in the country, The Anvil is one of the borough’s cultural gems, and is well loved together with The Haymarket. Both venues play an important role in supporting the vibrancy of Basingstoke town centre.



“The work at these venues will ensure that audiences can continue to enjoy a wide range of performances for many years to come.”

Anvil Arts Chief Executive Matthew Cleaver said: “We welcome this investment from the council, which will make significant improvements to Basingstoke’s major performing arts venues over the next three years.

“The Anvil doesn’t look it, but is now nearly 30 years old. With 200,000 visitors a year coming into Basingstoke to enjoy our programme, that’s a lot of wear and tear. And after 30 years, some of the building systems and equipment at both The Anvil and The Haymarket badly need upgrading.

“This joint programme of work by The Anvil Trust and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council will help set up the buildings for the next 30 years. We will take advantage of new technology to make them more environmentally sustainable, which could include installing solar panels on The Anvil roof. Much of this work will take place behind the scenes, and we will aim to keep disruption to a minimum. All our visitors will benefit from the improved facilities as the programme of works is rolled out.

“The Anvil Trust is delighted to continue to work in partnership with the council to make sure that The Anvil and The Haymarket are fit for the future.”

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