The Mills Archive Trust in Reading has received £95,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Succession Breeds Success”. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on transforming the charity in three strategic areas so that the rare UK milling records they care for continue to be preserved and freely available for generations to come.
The project will build on the Mills Archive’s existing successes, focussing on the areas of governance, management, and fundraising. The project will provide the tools to make the organisation resilient so that it can continue to provide educational services for the benefit of the public.
The funding comes from a new HLF grants programme called Resilient Heritage. This programme offers grants of £3,000-£250,000 to help strengthen organisations, and build the capacity of staff and volunteers to improve how heritage is managed in the long term.
The Mills Archive is a charity and accredited archive. It preserves and makes freely available some 3 million images and documents recording the nation’s important milling heritage. These records capture the whole history of milling, from ancient querns used thousands of years ago, to traditional wind- and watermills and up to present-day modern mills. Often, these records are all that remain of a mill and without them, this significant part of the UK’s rich heritage and the memories would be lost forever. The Archive depends on volunteers who work tirelessly to catalogue the material. Many of these volunteers are students enrolled on the Archive’s work experience programme, gaining vital skills to help them on their career path into heritage and charity work.
Commenting on the award, Liz Bartram, Director of Programmes & Development said “We are delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. We are confident that with this funding, we will transform what we can achieve as a charity and ensure that these precious records are preserved now and for future generations”.