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Preston celebrities back Harris fundraising campaign

Posted on - 31st January, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Charities, Flag Market, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The Harris and the Flag Market in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall
The Harris and the Flag Market Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston charity Friends of the Harris has won the backing of two local celebrities in its campaign to raise £25,000 towards the #HarrisYourPlace plans.

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Turner Prize winner Professor Lubaina Himid and TV personality Eric Knowles are appearing in short films to support the £10m scheme to preserve the Grade I listed Harris and create a world-class cultural attraction and community hub.

Read more: £10.2m plans to transform the Harris get green light

In the films, Lubaina and Eric talk about their close links with the Harris, why #HarrisYourPlace matters, and how local people can support the project by making a donation, large or small.

Eric and Lubaina inside The Harris

Artist Lubaina, who works internationally but lives in Preston, names the Harris as the museum that supported her over many years as she developed her career.

Lubaina said: “The Harris supported me when museums in all sorts of grander cities weren’t taking as much notice. There’s a kind of aspirational strategy at the Harris. It’s so important in the city.

“Now it needs urgent repair, so more of it will be open for you to enjoy. I want it to be there for the people who need it, forever. That’s why I’m supporting #HarrisYourPlace.”

Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt star Eric first visited the Harris as a teenager and credits it with inspiring his lifelong love of ceramics and glass in particular.

Eric said: “The Harris is a bit like a condensed version of the V&A. It’s better than I remember it the last time I visited. It’s all here; you don’t have to get down to London.

“I think the sheer variety of what’s on display at the Harris should light the fuse of creativity for young people. Every day almost 1,000 people, from all walks of life, visit the Harris, but after 127 years, it’s tired. 

“#HarrisYourPlace is going to be for the people of Preston and for the people of Lancashire and that’s why I’m supporting it.”

After the proposed changes were approved by Preston City Council’s Planning Committee earlier this month, Friends of the Harris is fundraising to help secure £4.5m in funding needed from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Greta Krypczyk-Oddy, Chair of the Friends, said: “Raising £25,000 will show genuine popular backing for #HarrisYourPlace and help make sure the big National Lottery Heritage Fund grant comes to Preston to make the project a reality next year.” 

Everyone who donates at least £10 to the Friends’ fundraiser will receive a set of five exclusive Harris bookmarks as a thank you.

Watch Eric and Lubaina’s films and find out more about #HarrisYourPlace on the Harris website.

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What do you think about Eric and Lubaina supporting the campaign? Let us know in the comments.

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