Menu

Community campaign hopes dashed as Grade II Harris Institute sold to private company

Posted on - 17th June, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Avenham, Campaigns, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The Harris Institute was one of UCLan's original buildings Pic: Tony Worrall
The Harris Institute was one of UCLan’s original buildings Pic: Tony Worrall

The Grade II listed Harris Institute in Avenham has been bought by a private company.

The news means the campaign set up to bring the empty building back into use for the local community has been lost.

Skylight windows in the Harris Institute School of Art. Photo taken April 2022. Pic Lisa Brown
Skylight windows in the Harris Institute School of Art. Photo taken April 2022. Pic Lisa Brown

When the building went on the market for £350,000 in 2022, local man John Edward Turner set up the Friends of the Harris School of Art and spearheaded the campaign.

Read more: Campaign to save the Harris Institute as iconic Preston building goes up for sale

The Friends of the Harris School of Art’s aim was to restore the building to its former glory and operate it as a hub for the arts.

They raised awareness by opening the building up as part of 2022’s Heritage Open Days weekend and successfully applied to become a Community Interest Company. The group recently set up a crowdfunding campaign, with the hope of raising £310,000 to purchase the building.

The Friends of the Harris School of Art have held Heritage Open Days to raise the buildings profile and encourage people to get involved in saving the building. Pic Lisa Brown
The Friends of the Harris School of Art held Heritage Open Days to raise the building’s profile. Pic Lisa Brown

However, in a statement issued on the group’s Facebook page John Edward Turner said: “Unfortunately, we didn’t reach our target in time and the Harris Institute has been sold to the Chinese Buffet Company. Thank you to everyone for your continued support of our project over the past few months.

“Special thanks to John Chesworth of Harrison-Drury, Patricia Harrison of Friends of Winckley Square Gardens, Timothy Joel from Preston City Council, and Rosie Paterson of Lancashire County Council for all their advice, help, and support.

“All those who donated to the crowdfunding campaign will be getting their money back over the next few days. After the previous owners’ lack of interest and care, hopefully, the building will be restored to its former glory and it will be open soon for all to enjoy.

“In case the new owners would like to use the building for its intended use we are keeping the Friends of the Harris School of Art group and the Community Interest Company active for a few months.”

The lecture theatre in the Harris Institute School of Art. Photo taken April 2022. Pic Lisa Brown
The lecture theatre in the Harris Institute School of Art. Photo taken April 2022. Pic Lisa Brown

Speaking to Blog Preston, John Edward Turner said: “We can still be friends. Hopefully, the new owners will have exciting plans for the building and reopen it soon for everyone to enjoy.”

View the full listing on the Right Move website.

Find out more about the Friends of the Harris School of Art on their Facebook page.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Share
Preston in pictures Stagecoach 15581 on the Longridge  servicePreston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024 View more
Advertisement
Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up below to receive Blog Preston's email newsletter. It wings its way into inboxes every Sunday and Wednesday rounding up our top stories and more.

Advertisement
News by location

Find news by location, select an area of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

The Preston Guide

Discover local businesses and services near you.

Advertisement
Categories

Find news by category, select an category of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

Blog Preston email updates

Receive our digest of the biggest and best stories every Sunday to your email inbox

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time from our emails