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New-look The Harris to be host to No. 9 and The Studio for city’s youth

Posted on - 10th January, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Education, History, Politics, Preston buildings & attractions, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, What's On in Preston
Room 9, planning and design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates
Room 9, planning and design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Pic: Preston City Council

The Harris in Preston has announced the opening of two new spaces which will be dedicated to young people.

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Over 100 years old, the museum, art gallery and library, is currently undergoing a £16 million transformation and plans to re-open in 2025.

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The two new spaces are part of the ‘Harris Your Place’ project, which saw the closure of the museum in 2021.

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‘No.9’ and ‘The Studio’ aim to revitalise The Harris as a community hub for the younger generation in Preston and Lancashire and become a place where people want to spend their time. 

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‘No.9’, is a space designed by young people for young people, offering library services among art and history. The artwork incorporated into the room was handpicked by a panel of young advisors. 

The room aims to understand and address the experiences of young people in Preston, focusing on mental health, self-expression and confidence.

The second room planned is ‘The Studio’ which offers a space for schools, adult community groups, learning sessions and family activities. 

Focusing on creativity, ‘The Studio’ plans to host workshops, presentations and screenings and encourages visitors to explore the history of The Harris.

The Studio, planning and design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Pic: Preston City Council

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Councillor Peter Kelly, cabinet member for Arts and Culture at Preston City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the plans for the Harris Your Place project come to fruition after partnering with the community to create a shared vision for the new spaces.

“No.9 and The Studio marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a dynamic cultural learning space that caters to the diverse interests and needs of our community.

“By actively involving young people in the design process and providing engaging spaces for exploration and creativity, we strive to empower and inspire individuals of all ages, fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation for the arts.”

The Harris has been closed since 2021, the project ‘Harris Your Place’ plans to re-open the building as a hub of culture, education and community. The Harris is due to re-open during 2025.

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