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New £150,000 children’s space being created in The Harris

Posted on - 11th October, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Charities, Preston City Centre, Preston News
HarrisYourPlace new logo red
HarrisYourPlace new logo

The Harris Charity has chosen to make its largest ever grant to help provide a new Children’s Space at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, as part of the city centre venue’s £10m development plans.

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£150,000 will be used to support the scheme to redevelop the children’s library space and improve facilities for school groups and families.

Read more: The Harris reopens museum and galleries after lockdown

Based on consultation with children’s library users, and a trial during 2019, it will offer children’s books alongside art and history objects from the museum collections as well as inventive and playful interpretation and digital access. 

It is scheduled to open in 2024 following a two year construction period during which the library service and family activities will be delivered around the city.

Planned Children's Space copyright Ralph Appelbaum Associates
Planned Children’s Space copyright Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Despite both being connected to Edmund Robert Harris’ legacy to Preston, the Harris Charity and the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library have not worked together before now. The grant is being made to the Friends of the Harris charity, which supports the museum, art gallery and library’s service to the public.

Edwin Booth, Chair of the Harris Charity Trustees said: “My Great Great Grandfather Edwin Henry Booth was a founding trustee of the Harris Orphanage whose sale in 1985 created the Harris Charity which supports young persons in difficulty and also helps ensure that their talents are not constrained through lack of funds.

Read more: Friends of the Harris charity receives £1,000 funding boost for museum redevelopment

“Edwin Henry had been an orphan boy at the age of 11 and he was keen to encourage disadvantaged youngsters in all walks of life to find fulfilment. The Harris trustees and I are proud to provide funds to help the Friends of the Harris support the creation of a place of discovery and learning for children and their families in the iconic Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library building as part of the #HarrisYourPlace project.”

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Greta Krypczyk-Oddy, Chair of the Friends of the Harris, said: “The Harris Charity are making a huge difference for Preston children by helping the Harris to create a fantastic new space for families and schools.

“We are very grateful to the Harris Charity trustees who will help to revitalise the Grade I listed Harris for the next 100 years, with spaces and services which meet the needs of Preston people.

“All of the money that we raise locally helps us to generate larger national grants which will ensure the full £10 million #HarrisYourPlace project goes ahead. This grant is a huge step forward.”

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