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Competition: Harris Museum, Preston

Harris Museum, Preston
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Preston City Council is seeking a multidisciplinary design team to revamp the Grade I-listed Harris Museum Art Gallery & Library

The winner of the estimated £200,000 contract will draw up plans to restore and expand the James Hibbert-designed 1893 complex which holds exhibitions on local history and fine art.

The £10.7 million Re-Imagining the Harris project, will reconfigure the interior, create a new vertical circulation route and deliver a maker space. The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the project a development grant in January and a round 2 application is now planned for November 2020.

In its brief, the council says: ‘Our aim is to create a democratic and high-quality offer with constantly refreshed and community-led museum, art gallery, library services and cultural activities delivered in a truly seamless manner. We want to utilise the unique opportunities provided by the Harris as a much-loved part of the city’s heritage and townscape for the city, housing an excellent range of collections.

‘The role of museums and libraries must evolve as society continues to change at a rapid pace. Therefore, we want to create an animated cultural and community hub for the people of Preston and Lancashire. The Harris should become a factory for stories and memories, celebrating Preston’s past, present and future, providing a range of opportunities for users to be creative and have their voice heard.’

Preston was awarded city status in 2002 and is home to around 114,000 people. The Harris Museum Art Gallery & Library is in the city centre, close to the Grade II*-listed Sessions House and Cenotaph. The museum’s collection includes paintings by Lucian Freud and Graham Sutherland, and a 13,500-year-old Ice Age elk skeleton.

The project aims to boost accessibility throughout the Neo-Classical style Harris Museum and deliver new fit-for-purpose and integrated museum, library and gallery facilities for local residents and visitors. It is planned to complete in 2023.

Bids will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on cost. The deadline for applications is 14 October.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Rachel Mulhearn
Preston City Council
Town Hall Lancaster Road
Preston
PR1 2RL

Tel: +44 1772905428
Email: r.mulhearn@preston.gov.uk 

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