Built on a site originally set aside for the third phase of Basingstoke's shopping centre, The Anvil was built to tackle what was then seen as a 'cultural desert' in the Basingstoke area. The aim of the project was to raise the profile of the Borough and to establish it as a major regional centre with a range of first class facilities. The building's name reflects its unusual shape, particularly when seen from the western approach which somewhat resembles the horn end of a traditional blacksmith's anvil. The hall has adjustable seating and acoustics plus a removable prooscenium to cater for different performance types. There is a small second auditorium, The Forge. The acoustic design was by Richard Cowell of Arup Acoustics.