Preston's Harris Museum mastermind Jon Finch is leaving the city to be head of culture for Bristol Council

The man behind the re-imagining of the Harris Museum is leaving his position in the city to sprinkle a bit of his cultural magic elsewhere in the country.
Jon Finch in the Harris MuseumJon Finch in the Harris Museum
Jon Finch in the Harris Museum

Jon Finch is leaving his role as head of culture at the Harris Museum after three years to take up the similar role as head of culture at Bristol Council

He will have responsibility for the council’s six museum and archive sites, and his role also encompasses arts, events, cultural partnerships and cultural education.

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Jon Finch on the ground floor of the Harris MuseumJon Finch on the ground floor of the Harris Museum
Jon Finch on the ground floor of the Harris Museum
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Director of Customer Services, Neil Fairhurst, said: “We are sad to see Jon leave us, but pleased for him in securing this exciting new role.

"Huge thanks to Jon for the last three years and the progress he has made at the Harris in that time.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund process continues and we’re confident Jon will leave us knowing his best endeavours could result in a favourable outcome for Preston.

“Recruitment for an interim replacement is currently taking place to continue the Re-Imagining the Harris project.”

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He started the role in the museum three years ago where he was jointly employed by Preston Council and Lancashire County Council as head of culture and led the Re-Imagining the Harris project.

Finch, who spent a number of years spent in Australia as a cultural consultant before coming to Preston, was the mastermind behind the museum's failed Heritage Lottery Fund bid in 2016 which looked to create a radical new entrance in the front wall of the building.

It also looked at opening up the outdoor terrace for further use other than just special occasions.

A Bristol Council spokesman said: “Jon Finch has been appointed as the new head of culture, starting on November 12.

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“Jon brings a wealth of experience. In his three years in Preston, he secured Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation status for Harris Museum, significantly increased visitor figures and income, and played an integral role in raising the profile of the cultural sector across the city.

“We look forward to welcoming him.”

He is married to Julie Finch, who was the director of Bristol’s museums, galleries and archives between 2009 and 2013.