Exciting Plans For The Harris When It Re-Opens In 2024

The Preston City Council are delighted to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve and celebrate the original features of the Grade I listed Harris and protect them for the future.

To create the exciting updates and new spaces at The Harris, we need to temporarily close the building from 5pm on Saturday 2 October to let the work begin. However, don’t worry as we will be creating new spaces across the community to showcase The Harris and house our services during the closure.

Between Monday 4 October and Saturday 16 October you will be able to access library services online – there is a huge selection of e-books and magazines for you to take a look at, or you can visit other libraries across Preston. From Monday 18 October, The Harris library and IT services will be available for all in its new ‘home from home’ in the Guild Hall.

The Council have funds committed to the project by National Lottery Heritage Fund, the UK Government’s Towns Fund, and a wide range of generous supporters. It’s also an excellent example of joint partnership working between Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council in making this happen.

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.

“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.”

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