Crane Operation Marks Major Milestone in The Harris Your Place Project

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library in Preston is currently reaching a significant phase in its ongoing restoration project.

A crane operation is underway to install Air Handling Units and roof gantries onto The Harris roof from Lancaster Road.

As part of the wider Harris Your Place project, these works are supported by Arts Council England's Capital Investment Programme specifically to improve the environmental conditions and standards of the special exhibition galleries located on the second floor, which will be named Gallery One once The Harris re-opens in 2025.

New Air Handling Units will improve the way The Harris achieves and maintains conditions in the gallery and enable The Harris to display a wider range of art works in these spaces than previously possible, working with a wide range of partners to deliver large-scale exhibitions and continuing to support high-quality cultural experiences in Preston.

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and leisure services at Preston City Council said: "The installation of Air Handling Units and roof gantries marks a major milestone in The Harris restoration project. This operation signifies our commitment to preserving heritage while embracing environmental responsibility. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to The Harris in Spring 2025."

The Harris has a strong track record of hosting outstanding exhibitions, including Look, Listen, Make Things, by artist Bob and Roberta Smith; The Artful Line, with significant loans from The Courtauld Gallery; Lubaina Himid: Hard Times and Artist Rooms: Martin Creed, and looks forward to building on this to host an ambitious new programme in the upgraded galleries.

The Harris Your Place project, with a vision to restore and reimagine The Harris for 21st-century audiences, sees the installation of these units as a crucial step forward. The major restoration project has been made possible with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, Towns Fund, and Local and National Trusts, Foundations and Charities.

The project aims to enhance the building's infrastructure and ensure its sustainability for future generations. By incorporating modern facilities and technology, The Harris seeks to transform into a vibrant cultural hub, offering enriching experiences to visitors from near and far.

The Harris is currently operating from other local spaces around Preston, with plans for pop-up exhibitions and events in 2024.


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