Preston City Council is planning a £10.7m refurbishment of the Harris, a Grade I listed museum in the town.
Alterations to the internal layout would enable more artefacts to be displayed. The project aims to create new routes through the building by using existing entrance ways that are currently disused. It will include work to uncover original architectural details that have been hidden and to address the building’s long-standing damp problem.
The council will now enter into a pre-construction services agreement with local firm Conlon, which enables further detailed discussions about the project plans before presenting a further council report in April 2022.
Councillor Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture, arts and night time economy 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, with local Preston firm Conlon Construction as the preferred construction partner.”
Michael Conlon, chairman of Conlon Construction, said: “The Harris is a beacon for the arts and culture in Lancashire, and we’re delighted to be the preferred project partner in bringing this vision to reality. As a local business, proud of our Preston roots, we have worked previously at the Grade I listed Harris having constructed the Discover Preston Gallery just ahead of the 2012 Guild celebrations. Our appointment to this project is a key milestone as we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year and reflect upon decades of successfully contributing to the built environment of the city and the county.”
The project team also includes:
- Focus Consulting (project management and business planning)
- Buttress Architects (lead architects and conversation planner)
- Ridge and Partners (quantity surveyors)
- Direct Access Consultancy (access consultant)
- Ralph Applebaum Associates (interpretation designer)
- Emma Parsons Consulting (activity planning).