How to promote your National Mills Weekend event

How to promote your National Mills Weekend event

If you own or manage a mill, National Mills Weekend is the perfect opportunity to engage local people, reach new audiences, and inspire the next generation of mill enthusiasts. We've put together some guidance on some of the best ways to promote your event for free.


Share the event on your online channels.  

This could include your website, social media channels, and newsletter. If you’re sharing online, it’s best to avoid circulating posters or PDFs as these are difficult to share and tricky to read on phone screens. Instead, include the relevant information in your social post (along with an image or graphic) and link to a webpage if you can, where people can read more. 


Contact friendly local organisations.  

You could try emailing the details of your event to local voluntary groups, other historic sites, museums etc. Ask if they’ll help to spread the word about your event, for example by sharing it in their newsletter. 


Try local event listings. 

You may be able to list your event for free in your local newspapers (printed and online), local event websites and forums, or in your local council and parish newsletters.  


Contact your local newspaper, radio station, or news channel.  

News desks and local journalists are always happy to receive a press release that gives them all the information they need. Check your local newspaper or search online for the relevant email address. 

You can fill in the press release template below or draft your own. You should also include one or two good-quality, high-resolution photos. Make sure that you have permission from the photographer and anyone pictured before you send the photo out for media use. 

You will have a better chance of success if your event has an interesting angle, such as: 


  • An anniversary, e.g. your mill is 200 years old this year, or it’s 15 years since your local trust took it over. 

  • A celebrity is involved e.g. a local TV personality has agreed to open the event/draw the raffle etc. 

  • A ‘first’, e.g. it’s the first time you’ll be open since vital works were completed or a new feature installed. 

  • A local link with other organisations, e.g. you have organised a vintage rally with your local car club or are raising money for a local charity. 

  • A ‘human interest’ story, e.g. one of your volunteers has won an award, or a descendant of a past miller has contacted the mill. 

  • A project or fundraising initiative. 



Press release template 




[Mill name] will be open to visitors from [time] to [time] on [day(s)] as part of National Mills Weekend. [Add a short summary of any activities/events] 

National Mills Weekend is the annual festival of the UK’s milling heritage, and the chance for everyone to explore their local windmills and watermills.  

[Mill name] is a … [include information about your mill: what kind of mill it is, when it was built, any interesting facts] 

The weekend is coordinated by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and its Mills Section.  

If your mill does not normally open to the public, make this clear: 

National Mills Weekend is [the only time/one of x occasions/the first time] the mill will be open [this year/in xx years]. It is the chance for local people to look inside and find out more about the role of the mill in local life over the centuries. 

If you are organising tours or activities: 

Visitors to the mill will get the chance to [add details of what you are planning, e.g. guided tours, children’s activities, etc.] 

Add a quote from your organisation or a local supporter: 

[Name, position] said: “[e.g. National Mills Weekend is a fantastic opportunity for people to explore their local heritage, and we look forward to welcoming visitors]” 

Further information on [Mill name] can be found on the mill’s website at [your website].  

Information on mills open nationwide can be found on the National Mills Weekend website at 

Further information and images 

Images available: 

[give titles/descriptions and copyright information] 


[Your name and contact details – include a daytime phone number and an email address if possible] 

Notes to Editors 

[Mill name] is a … [include information about your mill: what kind of mill it is, when it was built, any interesting facts] 

National Mills Weekend is an annual celebration of the heritage and history of mills, and the people who care for them today. It has been organised by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and its Mills Section since 1982 and takes place each year on the second weekend of May. 

The Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is the UK’s national organisation for protecting and promoting traditional windmills and watermills. Founded in 1931 when mills were rapidly disappearing from the landscape, it has campaigned ever since to save mills from destruction and conversion. It runs talks, workshops and events; provides technical advice, training and funding for the sympathetic repair of mills and their machinery; and supports the SPAB Millwright Fellowship which trains craftspeople in this endangered craft. 

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) works across the UK and Ireland to give old buildings a future. It educates and inspires people to look after old buildings, making them comfortable and sustainable while keeping their character. It does this through casework, technical research and advice, education and training, awards, outreach and events. Its work is underpinned by a conservation philosophy that encourages people to preserve historic fabric. The SPAB Approach provides a well-tested basis for practical decision-making in building conservation. It also encourages excellence in new design to enrich and complement the built historic environment. Founded in 1877 by William Morris and his fellow campaigners, the SPAB continues to advocate for old buildings almost 150 years later.