We’re creating a better Harris for everyone!
For 127 years, the Harris has been both a cherished space for communities to come together and a home for world-class culture, exhibitions and collections. Each year, Preston’s Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library welcomes and inspires more than one thousand people a day from every walk of life. It’s a landmark, drawing visitors to Preston from far and wide.
But years of daily use mean your beloved Grade I listed building urgently needs attention. And, as we all face tough and uncertain times, it’s a free, open and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy, whatever your background or circumstances.
Harris Your Place is a £10million project to restore and reimagine the Harris as a 21st century community, cultural and learning space. But the Harris is tired. It isn’t as accessible as it should be for everyone who needs it. Conservation is needed to reveal hidden original architectural details and to tackle the leaking roof and damp basement which pose a threat to the Harris’ collections.
Harris Your Place is about more than simply preserving this much-loved building – as our way of life changes ever more quickly, we need to ensure the Harris remains a vibrant heart of the community, where people want to spend their time. In March 2021 the Harris was granted £4.5m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund – a critical piece of funding to deliver an ambitious £10.02m reimagining of the iconic Grade I listed building. The Harris Your Place capital scheme has also been made possible thanks to a further £3.6m from Preston City Council; Lancashire County Council; the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; Arts Council England, and public donations via the Friends of the Harris. Other key supporters include the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the Harris Free Public Library and Museum Endowment Trust, and The Harris Charity.
You can help by showing your support for Harris Your Place, and being part of this exciting project.
1. Follow us on social and share our #HarrisYourPlace posts on your social media platforms with one of these pictures. – or a photo of your own – if you have visited the Harris before we closed for the project.
2. Sign up to receive the Harris e-newsletter and get the latest project news.
3. Join our upcoming events around the city – you’ll find details on our website and on social media.
4. Volunteer with us by signing up to the Harris Volunteer Makers.
5. Make a donation to our charity, the Friends of the Harris, or become a member.
Membership costs from just £25 per year and every donation, large or small, will help Preston and Lancashire people benefit from Harris Your Place. Many local people have already given to the Friends or joined to show their support.
You’ve told us what the Harris means to you …
… Preston’s hidden collections on show, new spaces to enjoy, family-friendly areas and more accessible facilities.
Harris Your Place will bring the Harris into the 21st century whilst preserving its unique history.
Making the Harris more welcoming
Improving accessibility for everyone with re-opened original entrances, new stairs and lift, buggy store, toilets and Changing Places facility.
Creating the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and library and making space to put more of Preston’s hidden collections on show. Celebrating Preston’s creative and making heritage.
Attracting more visitors (an extra 100,000, we expect) with an even better café, shop and events spaces. These additional tourists will also mean more business for other shops and services in Preston, helping to grow our city’s economy.
With new spaces for creativity, playing, learning, socialising and volunteering, including new, dedicated areas for young people.
We’ll also work together with local communities to make sure the Harris tells the story of Preston’s diverse history and culture, so the Harris is a place local people can see themselves and have their voice heard.
And, it will continue to be a safe haven for people who need it.
The Harris Library
Find us in the Guild Hall
The Harris library, Harris gift shop and IT services have moved to the library’s temporary ‘home from home’ in the Guild Hall
9am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday
Another exciting step forwards into a new era for the Harris!
Conlon Construction Ltd have been appointed as the Re-imagining the Harris Project preferred construction partner.