Harris Museum Preston

Buttress wins brief for £10m Harris revamp

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The architecture practice has won a £450,000 contract to work with The Harris museum in Preston on its plans for a £10.7m Heritage Lottery-funded refurbishment.

Buttress beat nine other bidders to the project, and will develop plans for the listed building on Market Square ahead of a National Lottery grant bid due at the end of this year.

Plans have been under way to refurbish the Harris for several years. Preston City Council established its ‘Re-imagining the Harris’ project in 2015 with a masterplan drawn up in 2016, which was expected to cost £18.6m. A bid was put forward to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £10m, but was turned down.

The council then made a second attempt for Heritage Lottery funding in 2018, asking for £4.5m. Development funding of £180,900 was awarded, which is being used to fund the creation of Buttress’ designs.

Buttress previously worked with The Harris to redevelop part of its galleries in 2012.

The listed building in the centre of Preston is used as a museum and art gallery, with Lancashire County Council leasing 40% of the building to house a library. Part of the re-imagining project details the ambition to “blend” the uses currently existing within the museum, according to Preston City Council.

The total bid of £4.7m will support the £10.7m project, which is backed by £3.6m from Preston and Lancashire councils, the Preston, South Ribble & Lancashire City Deal, Arts Council England and local supporters.

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