Lottery grants £4.5m to Harris project

The re-imagining of Preston's Harris Museum can now go ahead after the team successfully secured £4.5m funding from the National Lottery.

The investment by the lottery's Heritage Fund was a vital part of the £10m project, which will see the historied venue converted into a world-class cultural attraction and community hub.

#HarrisYourPlace will make the Grade I-listed Harris the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and library and make the building more accessible to welcome an additional 100,000 visitors per year.

Due to commence in autumn 2021, works will rejuvenate the building and reveal some of its original architectural details which have previously been hidden.

The project had previously secured £3.6m from Preston City Council; Lancashire County Council; the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; Arts Council England and the Friends of the Harris.

A fundraising campaign, backed by Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt star Eric Knowles and internationally-known artist and Turner Prize winner, Professor Lubaina Himid, has also seen local people donate to the cause.

Coun Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture and leisure services at Preston City Council, said: "We are enormously grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for this fantastic support, which is the final piece of funding we need to make this exciting reimagining of the Harris a reality.

"This is wonderful news for the Harris and for Preston. It means we can bring to life the transformational plans that have been developed in partnership with expert advisors and local people, at the same time as giving the Harris the structural attention it so deserves."

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