Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library Re-Imagining Project • Visit Preston
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Preston Guild City

Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library Re-Imagining Project

View inside The Harris, Preston, looking up to the ceiling

The Harris re-imagining project aims to create a cultural, civic and community hub at Preston and Lancashire’s premier art gallery, museum and library...

The innovative Re-Imagining the Harris Project offers a unique and exciting vision to create a cultural, civic and community hub for Preston and the county.

It will build on Lancashire's remarkable history of innovation, a space where everyone can celebrate our creative past, present and future - making, participating and engaging. The new Harris Museum will provide an innovative environment in which museum, library and art gallery collections and services are fused to provide one seamless, flexible and community-led hub.

Key outcomes and improvements

  • This remarkable Grade I listed building has opened up a new entrance to the building from Lancaster Road enabling direct access to the café and library. The entrance is also fully wheel chair accessible
     
  • Visitors will be able to engage with the collections in a new way not only in traditional galleries but also woven into other public areas such as cafes and activity areas
     
  • The Harris will be a focal point for creativity and making, digital technology, learning and reading.

The Harris re-imagining project background 

For many local people, the Harris represents Preston. It is proud to be a major landmark and valued part of the city’s identity, but the Harris is much more than a monumental building.

Coming up to its 125th anniversary, the Harris is at a significant point in its history, part-way through a journey of innovation and change in the role it plays in Preston, Lancashire and beyond. It is believed the Harris should become a centre for the city’s cultural and social life; a source of inspiration, pride and creativity. The Harris should be a collector of stories and memories, celebrating Preston’s past, present and future and provide opportunities for people to be creative and have their voices heard.

Progress has already been made, with visitor figures up 15% in the last two years (with over 350,000 visits in 2017/2018) and has secured Arts Council National Portfolio status for the first time.

Ambitions do not stop there, with work on a project to help make them a reality. Significant investment is essential if innovative services are to be provided in the future, and an initial bid has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £4.7 million, as part of a wider £10.8million project. This project is key to providing the Harris to the people of Preston and Lancashire for another 125 years.

Map address for the Harris

Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library, Jacson Street, Preston, PR1 2PP.