Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has cut its funding to The Anvil Arts by 50 per cent with the chief executive warning that job losses will be inevitable as a result. At the same time, the authority has warned B Love Festival will be scrapped if it can't find a private, third-party partner to run the event.

Numerous studies show there are many health benefits for residents having close access to arts and culture.

As the town prepares to unlock, these are precisely the sort of areas the council should be investing in - not only bring tourists to the area and to boost the local economy but to offer a wide-range of activities for those who live in the town.

The Anvil and its sister theatres have been the jewel in Basingstoke's crown and their futures must be protected.

Katie French, Editor