THE Anvil Trust has received a donation of £1,000 to help continue its popular Festival Place pop-up as calls for the council to reverse its decision to slash funding continue.

The Anvil Trust in Basingstoke, Hampshire, has received the grant from housebuilder Barratt Homes.

The donation follows the recent announcement of cuts by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, with its investment in The Anvil Trust set to be reduced by at least 50 per cent this year.

The Anvil Trust is the largest performing arts organisation in Hampshire, and operates The Anvil, The Forge, and The Haymarket in Basingstoke, as well as working to provide performing arts opportunities to the community in the town centre, schools and care homes.

The donation, which was made as part of Barratt Southern Counties’ monthly Community Fund scheme, will allow the charity to continue to run its ‘Musication Station’ at the Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke, which will offer free instrument tryout sessions for young people of all ages during term time. Visitors will be able to try out various guitars, drums, keyboards, ukulele, violins, and percussion, as well as songwriting sessions and even making instruments out of vegetables.

Lynnette St-Quintin, sales director for Barratt Southern Counties, said: “We are proud to help this important arts charity and community asset get back on its feet at a time when venues across the country are on their knees. We hope that our donation will help to create opportunities to encourage young people in Basingstoke to try their hand at something new and learn first-hand about the power of performance.”

Matthew Cleaver, Chief Executive of the Anvil Trust, said: “We are very grateful to Barratt Southern Counties for its donation to support one of our valuable community programmes. Our Musication Station activity is a crucial way to reach out to the next generation of artists and provide them with the opportunity to try out an instrument.

He added: "Performing arts has been proven to boost the health and wellbeing of young people, and so we are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity, which the Council cuts had put at risk.”