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‘Really hope they don’t spoil it’ – what Prestonians said on seeing the Harris Museum plans

Posted on - 16th October, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - News, Preston City Centre, Preston Council
You will be able to access the Harris from Lancaster Road in the future, if the funding bid if successful

You will be able to access the Harris from Lancaster Road in the future, if the funding bid if successful

Ambitious proposals for the Harris Museum and Art Gallery have drawn a mixed response from Prestonians,

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Preston City Council unveiled on Saturday morning the £15m project and it includes being able to access the museum directly from the Flag Market.

The Lancaster Road entrance would also be re-opened to the building as part of the ‘Re-imagining the Harris’ plan.

Here’s what Preston said in response:

Pam Wilson sounded a cautious note, saying: “Great to see that the Harris wants to reach out and engage the community more but the building is so iconic and of its time I really hope they don’t spoil it.”

Alison Foster is in favour of regeneration but thinks money should go elsewhere.

She said: “I’m sorry I just don’t see the point if this. Some of the regeneration work is really good. But the Harris is fine as it is. That money would be better spent on keeping community facilities running.”

And Gary Brooks had a stern warning for councillors. He said: “A beautiful building us prestonians should be proud of. My favourite in the centre, my opinion… Leave it the hell alone!! Don’t be messing with a masterpiece…”

Rebecca Scott is in favour of the new entrance.

How the Harris Museum may look in future with an entrance direct from the Flag Market

How the Harris Museum may look in future with an entrance direct from the Flag Market

She writes: “Well it would seem I’m on my own In thinking this is an exciting development. The new entrance would provide more space and connect with the flag market. It’s sympathetic addition that would make the building work better. It’s great there is some money being invested help maintain this beautiful iconic Preston building.”

Read more: Wayne Hemingway involved in Harris Museum project

Gary Bond hasn’t made up his mind yet, and thinks people are missing the point about the funding.

He said: “Not sure what to make of this – very unsure if this is the right thing to do. Also, I think some people need to remember that this would be financed by lottery money – not money directly from the council coffers.”

While David Lawson is in militant mood. He said: “Over my dead body is this going to be allowed to happen. Preston Council – I will fight you tooth and nail. I will lie in front of the construction machinery if needs be. You’ve done an incredible job ruining most of Preston down the years PCC – well you’re not getting away with maiming the PEOPLES’ Harris!!”

The Harris Museum was opened in 1893 Pic: Tony Worrall

The Harris Museum was opened in 1893 Pic: Tony Worrall

However Leona Mae Marsh thinks it’s a progressive move.

She said: “What a fantastic idea. It totally opens up the building and makes it in to more of a focal point. As long as it’s done sympathetically then I say go for it.”

And town centre councillor Drew Gale also weighed in supporting the Harris plans.

He said: “Totally in favour of this – doesn’t really alter the structure, just puts a new inviting entrance way into the one bit of the building I don’t like the plain long high wall that faces the square – big improvement to an already fantastic building.”

Here’s how Blog Preston readers feel as they have been casting their votes in the poll.


The city council is currently consulting on the proposals before a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is submitted in late November.

What do you think of the Harris plans? Do you visit the building at the moment? Let us know in the comments below

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