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Next phase of Re-imagining the Harris underway as project team announced

Posted on - 3rd May, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The Harris overlooking the Flag Market Pic: Tony Worrall
The Harris overlooking the Flag Market Pic: Tony Worrall

The Harris has announced its partner team for the Re-Imagining the Harris project.

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The project’s ambition is to make the Harris a focal point for creativity, making, information and learning in spaces that celebrate heritage and promote wellbeing.

The team aiming to make this vision a reality is made up of the following members:

  • Focus Consulting – project management and business planning
  • Buttress Architects Ltd – lead architects and conversation planner
  • Direct Access Consultancy – access consultant
  • Ralph Applebaum Associates – interpretation designer
  • Emma Parsons Consulting – activity planning
  • Ridge and Partners LLP – quantity surveyors

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

A spokesperson for the Harris said: “This team is working with us to develop the plans for our round two application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in November 2020. If we are successful in getting all the funding we need, we will begin the project in spring 2021.

“Even in these unprecedented times, where following government advice the Harris had to close its doors to the public, the team is still busy working with project partners to continue planning.

“For many local people, the Harris represents Preston, a proud landmark on the cityscape. However it has the potential to be far more than an iconic building. More than a century old, the Grade I listed Harris is at a significant point in its history, part-way through a journey of innovation and change in the role it plays in Preston, in Lancashire and beyond.”

Read more: The Harris to close in response to coronavirus advice

Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to establish the Harris as a cultural centre for Preston, housing the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and library.  

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

Plans are afoot to create welcoming thoroughfares through the building by using existing entrance ways that are currently disused. 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.

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader at Preston City Council, said: “Following the generous support from National Lottery Heritage Fund for such an important project for Preston, and thanks to National Lottery players, it’s wonderful news that we can announce the project team helping us achieve our vision for The Harris.

“Now the project can start to take shape and, depending upon funding decisions, enable the jewel of Preston to realise its full potential. I cannot wait to watch the transformation in the coming years and see it become even more important to the community it serves.  

“The project will help further the regeneration of our city centre as well as benefit the local economy by one of our key anchor institutions.”

Read more: Share your experience of social distancing and become part of Preston’s history

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What do you think of the Harris’ partner team and its ambitions for the future? Let us know in the comments.

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