We at Podio HQ would like to send our best wishes to The Harris as it turns 125 years old.
The Museum, Art gallery and Library have been educating and serving the people of Preston faithfully since 1893 in many different ways: Vikings, Lego, Fine Art purchases, the annual Open exhibition and a wealth of books to borrow. However, after 125 years, the building and entire concept is in need of a make-over. Plans are afoot…..
To coincide with this important anniversary, the #HarrisYourPlace project is being launched. The aim is to raise funds to change the Harris into a blended facility where art, library books and museum exhibits will come together to provide themes and topics in one place. For instance, paintings of mills could be placed alongside pieces of machinery or textiles together with books on the industrial history and perhaps some up-to-date craft books from the library collection. A new entrance is proposed on Lancaster Rd opposite the Guild Hall and various pop-up shops, cafes and sales points would be created to blend sympathetically with the different areas.
The building itself is also in need of repair; roofing, windows and the basement all need structural work doing to ensure The Harris can cope with the elements and safely store all its treasures. There would be no point installing new exhibits whilst there is a danger the roof might leak and ruin them!
All this will cost money – a lot of it – but much funding has already been promised from local businesses and grants. There is also an ongoing appeal on The Big Give website alongside a bid to the Lottery Fund, so we wish The Harris much luck with these, and many happy returns.