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Harris Museum plans see steps up to front entrance

Posted on - 1st April, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - News, Preston City Centre, Preston Council
Early evening events were run during the Harris Flights in summer 2013 Pic: Paul Swarbrick

The Harris Flights in 2013 were the catalyst for the permanent steps to be added Pic: Paul Swarbrick

A flight of steps up the front of the Harris Museum is set to become a permanent feature.

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Previously used during the Harris Flights arts exhibition the steps were popular with Prestonians for a range of events.

Recent lottery bids have secured funding to make what many in the city have long suspected should be the case, giving direct entry from the Flag Market to the museum’s first-floor.

In the ‘Re-imaging the Harris’ strategy submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund the provision for the steps becoming part of the city scenes-cape is outlined.

Large-scale funding is needed to install the steps and dig up a section of the Flag Market.

A city council spokesman said: “It’s about stepping up the offer at the Harris. Really raising our game and taking the next step so that the Harris is fit for the 21st Century. We think this could really raise the profile of the Harris and up the ante in terms of what the Harris is all about.

“Obviously, it’s the Harris so we would have to tread very carefully and not put a foot wrong or it might just be a flight of fancy.”

Following the success of the 2013 arts event, the Flights, which saw music, performance art and much more span a number of weeks in the summer.

Arts Lottery chairman Alfonso Fillagrini said: “When we saw the impact the steps had on making the Preston public get involved in the arts we just knew we had to try and help.

“Seeing all those grey balding men eating a Greggs pasty while watching some contemporary art and sheltering under an umbrella, well, Preston just needs to become a cultural hotspot. And what better way than building a flight of steps up the side of this wonderful building.”

The Flights during summer 2013 Pic: Paul Melling

The Flights during summer 2013 Pic: Paul Melling

Of the hundreds of people who filled in the Harris Consultation so far a number of them had called for the steps to be brought back.

Official history records don’t contain any record of the steps ever being planned for the building.

Local history experts have examined the case for the building’s designer, James Hibbert, to have intended to have built steps in the first place. But concluded his designs never included such a bold step.

The city council is currently consulting on what the future of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery should be, with Prestonians asked to fill in a survey to give their views on the building which includes the museum, library and art gallery. You can give your views via the council website.

Editor’s note: This was quite obviously an April Fool. Hope you enjoyed it! And don’t forget to give your views about the future of the Harris!

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