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Harris Library team set to be merged with wider Harris team

Posted on - 8th May, 2018 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
A tulip at the front of the Harris Pic: Tony Worrall
A tulip at the front of the Harris Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston’s flagship museum and library looks set to have one team running it.

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Lancashire County Council is preparing to transfer its library staff under the control of Preston City Council.

A multi-million pound lottery bid to Re-Imagine the Harris was knocked back by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In October last year the feedback from the lottery bid included combining the staffing teams to form one Harris team.

At present the city council manages the team responsible for the Art Gallery and Museum, while the county council’s library service operates the library.

The county council pays around 40 per cent of the operating costs of the building to have the Harris library contained there. It costs the county council around £580,000 per year to operate the library.

Read more: Preston InstaMeet to let you see the Harris through a new lens

Now the county council’s cabinet are due to approve a proposal to merge the two teams together.

A report to the county council recommends transferring the library staff to work for the city council and being part of one Harris team.

The report states: “Key funders such as Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England have made it clear that they expect to see a single team running the Harris (for example the Heritage Lottery Fund made the following statement in relation to any future significant bid for capital support ‘Concrete progress needs to be made in advancing the transformation process at the Harris – in particular the move to a single team’.

It continues: “It is difficult to embed cultural change and maximise operational efficiencies due to the different reporting structures, terms and conditions of service and organisational priorities and plans.”

Read more: Cafe with a social conscience opens in the Harris

The report is due to be discussed by the county council’s cabinet at 2pm on Thursday 10 May.

Do you work at the Harris? What do you think about the proposal? Let us know your views in the comments below

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