The Mills Archive is the national specialist repository devoted to mills and the historic use of traditional power sources. We possess the expertise to care for vulnerable and irreplaceable documents and to make them available to the public.

Don’t let the memories fade away - MAT legacy brochure

Our work is remarkably varied, covering education, cataloguing, conservation and research as well as providing a physical centre and Internet access for researchers and the public to use.

We are independent of government or any other organisation and receive no direct state grants or subsidies. We depend on the generosity of people like you, with an interest in mills, to protect the records in our care.

If you remember the Mills Archive Trust in your will you could help us far more extensively than you may have been able to do in your lifetime.

It is simple to include a legacy to the Mills Archive Trust in your will

If you have already drawn up a will you may add a simple bequest, using our codicil form.

A Residuary Legacy offers us the greatest benefit because it is simple and automatically compensates for changes in the value of your estate: if your estate is smaller than you expected, the charity does not get a larger slice than you intended at your family's expense.

To avoid any legal difficulties it is always wise to nominate an ultimate beneficiary as a long stop to take up any residue of your estate not otherwise disposed of. A charity such as the Mills Archive Trust is the ideal ultimate beneficiary: you don't have to keep revising the value of your estate, nor do you have to worry about Inheritance Tax.

There are other types of legacy, such as the Reversionary and Pecuniary forms. For more information read our explanatory leaflet.

Specific purposes

It helps us most if legacies are for our general charitable purposes. However, you may wish to devote the money to one of our appeals. Please express such wishes in as broad a way as possible. If you discuss them with us before you write your will, we can make sure the money goes where you really want it to go.

How your gift can be honoured

We rely on the generous support of those who love mills. If you are considering leaving a legacy to the Mills Archive Trust, please let us know so that we can involve you in all that we are trying to achieve.

Returning our simple pledge form will ensure that you are kept informed of our work. We respect the wishes of those who want their intentions to remain confidential, but we also appreciate the chance to acknowledge people's generosity during their lifetime.

Larger bequests

By law, legacies must be treated as income, so we spend them promptly unless your will explicitly states otherwise. If you are contemplating a large bequest, you may feel that we should add it as capital to our reserves, leaving us to use the income.

If you want us to treat your legacy as capital, please discuss the wording with us and your solicitor when drawing up or amending your will. It would be very helpful if the wording of any large legacy gave the Trust some discretion in the matter.

Major endowments

The long-term survival and development of the Mills Archive hinges on the right people being involved.

A Fellowship Legacyto our Archivist's Fund would enable us to pay some of the salary of full-time or part-time archivists and researchers to develop and release the information hidden in our two million records.

A Scholarship Legacy to our Research and Education Fund would enable short-term support for research projects aimed to raise the profile of traditional mills.

The cost of endowing a Fellowship in perpetuity ranges from £300,000 to £1 million. Scholarships would cost less to fund. A contribution to either scheme would be invaluable.

Our building fund

Archive buildings and storage demand the highest environmental standards. Having established a firm base in Reading, we need to continue to improve our archive store and the facilities we offer our visitors and volunteers.

For the Mills Archive to develop we need to cover rent and similar regular commitments using interest from endowments. Flexible endowments could in time reach such a level as to enable us to purchase our own premises and free the income we spend on rent. Contributions to our building fund would be most welcome. £1 million would secure our premises for the future.

Suggested wording if you wish to include us in your will

I leave all [or a ...% share of] the residue of my estate to the Mills Archive Trust (Registered Charity no. 1155828) of Watlington House, 44 Watlington Street, Reading RG1 4RJ, for its general charitable purposes.

Our promise

The last thing you want is for the money you entrust to us to be eaten up by administration costs. We already keep those to a minimum, but all legacy funds that we receive go directly to essential mill heritage project work or to endowments, and only there.

Leaving us your collection

We welcome collections of mill material, but to do our job we need to have copyright transferred as well. We ask that you also consider leaving a financial bequest so that we can do your collection justice. More information about leaving us your collection.

More information

For more information, download our full legacy brochure.

We are a member of the Fundraising Standards Board and comply with its recommendations. To read our Fundraising Promise, click here