£100,000 funding boost for Preston museum

Harris Museum and Art Gallery
Harris Museum and Art Gallery
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A city-centre museum is in line for a cash windfall following awards of more than £100,000.

The Harris Museum is set to receive two pots of funding – almost £80,000 towards a Contemporary Arts Programme, and £40,000 for the commissioning of a new art film.

And leaders have celebrated the news of the money, which they say will “keep up the standard” at the Harris.

A report to Preston Council’s cabinet member for resources Coun Martyn Rawlinson said the council had been awarded £40,000 from the Contemporary Art Society, for the commissioning of a new art film by Nathaniel Mellor.

It said: “The Contemporary Art Society annual award for museums is one of the highest value contemporary art prizes in the country.

“The £40,000 award supports a UK-based museum or public gallery to work with an artist of their choice to commission a new work that, once completed, will remain within the museum’s permanent collection.”

It said the film by the British artist would be part of his “Ourhouse” series and said: “Professional actors will be used alongside local performers in supporting roles. It will be set in Preston city centre, including the Bus Station.”

Another report said the council had also secured external funding totalling £76,175 from sources including Arts Council England, towards the proposed Contemporary Art Programme.

The programme runs from this month until the end of June next year with the theme of “Dance First, Think Later”, including exhibitions, young people’s activities and artists’ talent development.

Coun Rawlinson, who was asked to approve the cash, said: “It is money that the Harris has won externally to provide extra stuff for people who like to visit museums. We have an absolutely top-class one in Preston.”

Coun Veronica Afrin, cabinet member for culture and leisure services, said: “We are very proud of the Harris, we have tried to keep up the funding. We want to make sure we keep up the standard and that art is there for everybody in Preston and the surroundings.”