Harris renovation secures planning approval

A £10.2m plan to 'reimagine' the Harris has been given planning consent by Preston City Council.

The #HarrisYourPlace programme will conserve the Grade I listed building and ensure its future as a community hub and world-class cultural attraction. 

The work includes conserving and revealing original architecture, such as accentuating an original entrance way, as well as improving accessibility for the public, with the aim of attracting 100,000 visitors per year.

Councillor Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture and leisure services at Preston City Council, said: "Planning approval is a major step forward in this project which is important not only for the Harris building, but for Preston and Lancashire more broadly helping to bring more visitors to our city.

"We are proud custodians of the Harris Museum and we take very seriously our role to protect the building and ensure that it can be used and appreciated by generations to come."

A bid for £4.5m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to enable delivery the project has also been made, with a decision due in March 2021. An additional £3.6m of funding is already in place from Preston City Council; Lancashire County Council; the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; Arts Council England and local supporters including members of the public and the Friends of the Harris.

If approval is gained from both the Secretary of State and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, then works will get underway in October 2021.

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