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Decaying Harris Institute remains on ‘at risk’ register

Posted on - 21st October, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, History, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Redevelopment
The Harris Institute in Avenham Pic: Tony Worrall
The Harris Institute in Avenham Pic: Tony Worrall

A Victorian building which was one of the initial teaching places for what is now the city’s university is continuing to see a slow decay.

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Historic England has kept the Harris Institute in Avenham Lane on the ‘at risk’ register of listed buildings.

The grade-II listed former art college was built between 1846 and 1849 and was the Preston Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge – which eventually became the University of Central Lancashire.

After five years on the market the asking price for the Institute has been dropped by £100,000 by estate agents Kingswood in the last 18 months. It is now listed at a price of £550,000.

In recent years the Institute was operated as the Darul Uloom Islamic Institute but closed after a year of operation and the building has stood empty since 2014.

Read more: Three new blocks of flats planned for car park in Avenham

The Historic England ‘at-risk’ register states: “Plans to bring the building into educational use were unfortunately not taken forward, and the building remains vacant with no future use agreed.

“There is a risk that dry rot (which was previously eradicated) could re-establish as the building is unventilated and suffering from water ingress.”

A postcard if the Harris Institute during its time of operation Pic: Preston Digital Archive
A postcard if the Harris Institute during its time of operation Pic: Preston Digital Archive

The Institute is one of a number of buildings and areas in Preston put on the ‘at risk’ register. See a video below about the Institute being ‘at-risk’ as well as other buildings in the city.

Kingswood Estate agents said they had a number of interested parties expressing an interest in submitting an offer for the Harris Institute.

Read more: See more redevelopment news in Preston

What would you like to see happen with the Institute? Let us know your views in the comments below

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