The Harris is to receive £585,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme

11 May 2022

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library is among 66 cultural organisations across the country to benefit from a share of over £22.7 million from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme.

The Harris in Preston has received a grant of £585,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme. The Grade 1 listed Harris opened in 1893 and quickly became one of the leading museums, galleries and libraries in Preston and the wider Lancashire region, welcoming over 350,000 visitors annually.

The Capital Investment Programme aims to help cultural organisations across the country transform their buildings and equipment so they can operate safely post-pandemic, improve access, seize technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact. From Barrow-in-Furness to The Isles of Scilly, the organisations receiving funding share a vision to build a fit-for-the-future cultural sector, which all members of their communities can access.

This award will be used to support upgrades to the Special Exhibitions Galleries (on the second floor) which comprise of three inter-connected spaces hosting outstanding exhibitions and bringing excellent cultural experiences to Preston. The proposed works will improve environmental conditions with a new air handling unit and make more wall space available within the galleries, enabling larger more complex exhibitions. This will allow us to deliver high-quality cultural activities in Preston and improve the visitor experiences, including those of the artists and partners that the Harris works with.

Exhibition by Bob and Roberta Smith at the Harris 2021

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said “World class creativity and culture needs a resilient and sustainable infrastructure to allow it to flourish. With these investments in the buildings, equipment, and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and leisure services at Preston City Council, said,

“We are enormously grateful to Arts Council England for this funding, which will be used to support upgrades to the Museum’s Special Exhibitions Galleries. This is brilliant news as it means the Harris can host larger and more complex exhibitions, which will improve the overall experience for visitors. This funding demonstrates the faith and commitment the Arts Council has in our work at the Harris and means we can continue to make improvements for everyone that visits the Harris.”

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