Architects behind Harris gallery developments awarded contract for ‘Reimagining the Harris’ plans

Posted on - 18th January, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts
Harris Museum and Art Gallery Pic: Tony Worrall
Harris Museum and Art Gallery Pic: Tony Worrall

The architecture firm behind the redevelopment of the Harris Museum galleries in 2012 has been awarded a further £450,000 contract work as part of the ‘Reimagining the Harris’ project.


The scheme, which has been in the pipeline since 2015, will see the Harris developed as the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and library, creating daytime and evening opportunities and new ways for visitors to engage with the collections.

Earlier this month, the Harris was awarded a cash boost of £180,900 to set to work on the scheme.

Now Buttress Architects, based in Manchester, have been granted the £450,000 contract to work with the Harris on the designs.

The company, which previously helped develop some of the museum’s galleries in 2012, beat the other nine bidders to be selected.

They will develop plans for the building ahead of the National Lottery grant bid by Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council later this year.  

If successful, the Lottery bid will enable the full realisation of the Harris project. Existing entrances will be opened up to allow daytime and evening access and visitors will be able to engage with the collections in a new way not only in traditional galleries but also woven into other public areas such as cafes and activity areas.

Read more: New page for the Harris as library staff transfer

Preston City Council established its ‘Re-imagining the Harris’ project in 2015, with the cost expecting to be £18.6m. A bid was put forward to the Heritage Fund for £10m but this was later turned down.  

Preston City Council made a further attempt of funding in 2018, asking for a total of £4.5m. However, they were awarded £180,900 for development.

Read more: Harris Museum, The Birley and In Certain Places have been named among the North’s top 50 cultural organisations

This certainly sounds exciting. What are your thoughts with the work that the Harris Museum will be receiving in the future?  

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