TWO of Basingstoke's entertainment venues are to receive a multi-million-pound refurbishment thanks to a sizeable council grant. 

The Anvil and The Haymarket have been awarded £2.9m from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to allow for upgrades to take place.

The Anvil Arts, a charitable trust that manages both venues, has been working with the council to create a maintenance and improvement plan for the buildings which will run over three years. 

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This includes work on the roof of The Anvil and various upgrades on both buildings - including making them more environmentally sustainable.

Council leader 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.”

Basingstoke Gazette: The HaymarketThe Haymarket (Image: Archive)

Matthew Cleaver, Anvil Arts chief executive welcomed the investment from the council, which will make significant improvements to Basingstoke's performing art venues and set up the buildings for the next 30 years. 

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He said: “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.

“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.