The Harris set to close for up to 3 years amid refurbishment plans

The Harris Museum will be closed until further notice, with its services being offered elsewhere.
The Harris's closure was only announced today.The Harris's closure was only announced today.
The Harris's closure was only announced today.

Preston's Harris Museum is set to close for up to three years, the city council announced today.

The move is part of a major refurbishment programme and will also see the building's library and IT services move to the Guild Hall, which has been unused since 2019.

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Council chiefs say the building will reopen at some point in 2024.

The building will close its doors on Saturday 2 October at 5pm.

Between Monday 4 October and Saturday 16 October, the public will have to access the Harris's library services online, before its library and IT services will be available in a new "home from home" in the Guild Hall from Monday 18 October.

Buildings for the Harris's other services are yet to be confirmed.

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The project is a joint partnership between Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council, and is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the UK Government’s Towns Fund, as well as a wide range of supporters.

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and arts at Preston City Council, said: “The ambitious plans and vision we’ve had for the re-imagining the Harris project are now coming to fruition as we take this huge step forward.

“In order to achieve and realise these changes, the Harris building must close for a period of time to allow this work to take place. We’re working hard in the background to ensure you’re kept up to date and how you can still interact with our services while the building is closed. Look out for details on our ‘home from home’ updates.”

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Cabinet member for community and cultural services at Lancashire County Council, added: "The temporary closure of the Harris is a key milestone in the journey to realising the ambitious Harris Your Place project for Preston and Lancashire.

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“I am pleased we are able to continue the library and IT services from the temporary Harris ‘home from home’ in the Guild Hall. Here visitors will be able to borrow and browse, log on, collect reservations and enjoy the book of the month from Monday 18th October.

“This is an exciting time for The Harris and we can’t wait for the project to begin to preserve and celebrate The Harris’ original features and protect them for future generations to enjoy.”

Leader of Preston City Council, Councillor Matthew Brown said: “While it is sad to see the doors of the iconic Harris building temporarily close, this is the culmination of years of work to establish the right plans and secure funding for this important and beloved Preston asset.

This is a key step forward in delivering the Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme, which sees significant investment into projects that represent positive change in the city. It is a strong example of the power of collaboration and commitment to delivering our ambitions for Preston that benefits everyone.”

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You can follow the project’s progress via the Harris website and social media channels, where the museum will also share news of upcoming pop-up exhibitions and Halloween half-term family activities and where they’ll take place.