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Could the Harris Museum opening into the early evenings and Sundays boost city nightlife?

Posted on - 19th March, 2015 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Business, City Centre, Events, News, Nightlife, Preston City Centre, Preston Council
Early evening events were run during the Harris Flights in summer 2013 Pic: Paul Swarbrick

Early evening events were run during the Harris Flights in summer 2013 Pic: Paul Swarbrick

Making the Harris Museum open into the evenings and on Sundays is just one recommendation from councillors for boosting Preston’s nighttime economy.

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A paper presented to Preston City Council’s cabinet presents a year-long study into what the council can do to increase the number of events happening in the city.

The Harris Museum, which is due for a major reorganisation in the next three years, is highlighting as being a place for improvement.

Chaired by town centre councillor Drew Gale the Preston After Hours report calls for a new role to be given to one councillor to champion Preston’s nightlife.

In the report councillor Gale states: “We named the report Preston After Hours.

“The panel met with several organisatiosn and bodies which provided very informative presentations about their various business plans and offerings, open and honest discussions were had, and debate led to suggestions on how we, as a council could be more supportive in assisting the city’s out of hours economy.”

The councillors recommendations include:

– Calling on the city council’s events team to test out early evenings events as part of the major summer and winter activities in the city

– The Cabinet member for culture and leisure should call on the Preston Cultural Partnership to consider including night time economy events within its remit

– Review the operatime times of the Harris Museum and Art Fallery to explore the feasibility of supporting the early evening offer and also opening on Sundays

The Harris currently closes at 5pm each weekday and on Saturdays. It does not open on Bank Holidays and Sundays.

A response from senior city council bosses to the report says work is already being done on adding more early evening events to the council’s events calendar.

They respond “the council’s events team are planning to test some early evening events as part of the Flag Market approach. However, with this exception, currently the budget available is fully committed to the current Summer and Winter programmes.”

They also state the Preston Cultural Partnership already covers night time activities but would want additional funding for night time economy events.

On the Harris they state: “The Harris undertakes limited evening opening for special events and openings. Any extension of those evening openings and Sunday opening would need additional finance or compensating reductions in mid-week opening times.”

They also say lamppost advertising for events is being considered.

You can read the full Preston After Hours report on the city council website.

What do you think of the recommendations? Would they make you go into the city centre more in the early evening? What do you think of the Harris opening hours? Let us know in the comments below

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