The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Preston Free Public Library is a Grade 1 listed museum in Preston. Founded by Edmund Harris in 1877, it still operates as a local history and fine art museum with over 350,000 visitors annually.
The Harris is at a turning point in its history, aiming to create the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and public library combined with an onsite café. Direct Access is involved with developing community-led approaches to programmes.
Since 2019, Direct Access has worked with Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council who jointly run the venue to develop and prepare for a major heritage lottery application for refurbishment and development by 2025.
Initially an accessibility audit of the current site was undertaken that included a review of the first stage proposals. A bespoke grading system was used that identified quick wins of minimal cost that could be implemented along with a schedule of works to be included in Heritage Lottery bids.
“Direct Access provide an excellent service, giving thorough, helpful and knowledgeable assessment and advice. They are proactive and reliable.”
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