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£450,000 Boost for Harris Your Place

Harris Museum and Flag Market

Harris Museum and Flag Market

14 January 2022

Two major grants have been offered to support Harris Your Place from National grant-makers Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Wolfson Foundation. Building on the existing £10.02m capital project supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund, the grants will support additional works to the second-floor galleries of the Harris, helping to realise our full ambitions for the capital project.

Currently closed for capital works to get underway, the new-look Harris will re-open in spring 2024 with historic entrances opened, visitor facilities upgraded, and accessibility throughout the building improved - providing accessible and welcoming spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Our remarkable collections and changing displays, will tell stories of The Harris, Preston, and The World across three floors.

Support from both Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation, pending council approvals to accept, will provide a significant contribution towards the capital project and a key cultural institution within Preston and Lancashire. The award from Garfield Weston Foundation has been made to the Friends of the Harris, the charity which supports the Harris, and the award from the Wolfson Foundation to Preston City Council, who own and manage the Harris.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank both Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Wolfson Foundation for their generous support.

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and arts at Preston City Council, said:

"Preston City Council's Harris team are delighted that these generous grants have been awarded from Garfield Weston and the Wolfson Foundations. Their support will enhance Harris Your Place with additional funds to complete works to the second-floor galleries of the Harris and help realise our ambition to reach new audiences and have more of our collections on show.

The ambitious Harris Your Place scheme forms part of the wider Towns Fund projects, aiming to breathe new life into some of the Harris Quarter's heritage assets, key buildings and open spaces to create a diverse culture, leisure and employment offering for Preston." 

Greta Krypczyk-Oddy, Chair of Friends of the Harris, added:

"This is great news for the Harris and a significant contribution towards achieving the aims of Harris Your Place. Friends of the Harris is very proud to support the Harris and these grants from two National trusts and foundations will help to revitalise this historic building for generations to come."

More information

About the Harris

Based in Preston, Lancashire, the Harris is one of the leading museums, galleries and libraries in the region. Home to art collections of national significance, exciting activities and events for all ages and an award-winning contemporary art programme, the Harris welcomed over 380,000 visitors in 2018/19. 

Harris Your Place

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.

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.

Harris Your Place will make the 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 with a community-led programme of exhibitions, activities and events.  

The project commenced in autumn 2021. Works will return the building to its original splendour and reveal some of the Harris' original architectural details, which have previously been hidden.

Friends of the Harris

Friends of the Harris is a registered charity (503726) which works to support all aspects of the Harris' service to the public. We are very proud to be supporting Harris Your Place - a major capital redevelopment which will revitalise this historic building and deliver programmes and spaces in collaboration with our communities.

Garfield Weston Foundation

Established over 60 years ago in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which supports causes across the UK and, in the most recent financial year, gave over £98 million. Since it was established, it has exceeded donations of more than £1.2 billion, of which well over half has been given in the past ten years.

One of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation's funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum and Mason, amongst others - a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown, so too have the charitable donations.

Known for its transparency, flexibility and straightforward approach, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities from small community organisations to large national institutions. Around 2,000 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation's grants.

The Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity with a focus on research and education. Its aim is to support civil society by investing in excellent projects in science, health, heritage, humanities and the arts.

Since it was established in 1955, some £1 billion (£2 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 12,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review.

Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme

The Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme is a bold and transformational development programme in Preston's Harris Quarter that will be delivered between 2021 and 2026.

It has been kickstarted by a £20.9 million Town Deal which Preston secured in March 2021 as part of the government's £3.6 billion Towns Fund, established to help level up towns and cities around the country.

The Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme is focussed on a number of regeneration projects across culture, leisure, residential, infrastructure, community and education, and is part of the Preston City Investment Plan (CIP).

Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme projects:

  • Preston Pop Ups: Bringing together new temporary event space, artworks and improvements to public realm infrastructure, aimed at boosting visitor activity in the Harris Quarter.
  • CEIAG Hub: The creation of a new Careers and Employment, Information, Advice and Guidance Hub in the Harris Quarter.
  • Animate Cinema and Leisure Scheme: The delivery of a new cinema and bowling attraction with food and drink venues, a car park and public square next to Preston Markets.
  • Renewal of Harris Quarter Assets: Investment to support the redevelopment of publicly-owned buildings in the Harris Quarter to support new cultural and community uses.
  • Illuminate and Integrate: A project to deliver improved pedestrian and cycleway infrastructure, street lighting and other public realm improvements within the Harris Quarter.
  • Preston Youth Zone: The development of Preston Youth Zone as a state-of-the-art facility for young people in Preston aged eight to 19.
  • #HarrisYourPlace: The refurbishment of the Grade I listed Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, enhancing and protecting the building for generations to come

The Preston Towns Fund bid was led by the Preston Towns Fund Board, a sub-committee of the Preston Partnership. The Harris Quarter is the city's main civic and cultural quarter and includes the buildings, public spaces and streets surrounding The Harris Museum, Preston Markets, The Guild Hall and the bus station.

For more information on the Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme visit Invest Preston - Harris Quarter Regeneration.

Towns Fund - Towns Deals

Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion fund established by the government and managed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to level up towns and cities around the country.

In 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth.

A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision.

Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding in 2020 for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places "build back better" in the wake of Covid-19.

The city was awarded a total of £20.9m from the Towns Fund in March 2021 to support Preston's Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme which will breathe new life into some of the area's heritage assets, key buildings and open spaces to create a diverse culture, leisure and employment offering.

For more information on the Towns Fund visit Invest Preston - Towns Fund Investment.

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