Future of The Harris Institute in Avenham to be consulted on

Posted on - 31st October, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Avenham, Business, City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Redevelopment, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
Artist impression of the revamped Harris Institute Pic: Studio John Bridge

A public consultation event is taking place at The Harris Institute – School of Art, situated opposite Avenham Colonnade, on Wednesday 8th November.


The drop-in event is being held by Studio John Bridge and will run from 1pm – 4pm inside The Harris Institute. Architects from Studio John Bridge have drawn up initial 3D visuals of the main spaces, which are subject to planning approval.


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The iconic building – which has stood empty for more than a decade – was recently the subject of a campaign to save it, led by John Edward Turner, who set up The Friends of the Harris School of Art.

The grade-II listed building was bought by a private company earlier this year and is is now owned by The Harris Investment Group Ltd who have developed a number of potential ideas for the building.

These ideas include a café, exhibition space, co-working and conference space and artist impressions have been drawn up to support the concept.

A planning application is preparing to be tabled to then support a bid to Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Architect for the scheme John Bridge said: “This is an exciting moment for Preston, as we work together to rejuvenate this historic gem.

“The Harris Institute Building will continue to stand as a symbol of our rich heritage, and we want to work closely with the Preston community to develop a vision for the building that aligns with local aspirations. We know how important this historic asset is to Prestonians.”

Harris School of Art Pic Lisa Brown Photography

Members of the public are invited to attend the event, where John Bridge, Director of Studio John Bridge, and the team will be able to talk through the proposals.

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Access is limited via the steps at the front of the building but Studio John Bridge hopes to digitally exhibit the proposals for anyone who cannot attend.

Stay updated with news regarding The Harris Institute, follow Friends of the Harris School of Art and Studio John Bridge.

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Studio John Bridge Architects are leading the project with Gately Smithers Purlow Heritage Specialists, Eden Planning for Planning Consultancy and Cost Analysis from The QS Company.

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