Legacy Giving

An older woman and a girl in a gallery workshop

A gift in your will

We rely on our supporters to provide a key source of income for Manchester Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume. For every hour that we are open, we need to raise £393 to supplement our budget from Manchester City Council. Gifts in wills are increasingly important for ensuring future generations are inspired and educated by art and are able to enjoy the Galleries, just as you have.

Today, thanks to the generosity of two art-lovers, Manchester Art Gallery has one of the best collections of English domestic silver and 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings in any public gallery outside London. The Gallery’s holdings include a fine collection built up by Edgar Assheton-Bennett and his wife, Effie. Edgar was a stockbroker who only lived in Manchester until he was sixteen, but always felt a strong attachment to the city.

When Edgar drew up his will in 1962, he decided that he wanted to give something back to the place of his birth in memory of both his and his wife’s fathers. He decided not only to leave the collection to the Gallery but also the residue of his estate. He expressed the wish, without obligation, that the Gallery should use the money to display his collection and to enhance it by purchasing works of similar character and quality. In 1976, his bequest of £50,000 paid for the refurbishment of a gallery space and helped fund a major new acquisition, The Smith-Barry gold cup, made by the leading London goldsmiths, Parker & Wakelin in 1772-3.

More than thirty years on, the Assheton-Bennett name lives on in a special section of the Gallery of Craft & Design. A sum of money remains invested to assist with purchases for the collection and so the legacy continues to help shape the future of the Gallery and the lives of visitors, just as Edgar had wished all those years ago.

You can make a difference

You don’t need to be wealthy to leave a legacy. Be it £100 or £1 million, a gift in your will would be used exclusively to support Manchester Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume. Ideally a legacy allows us to spend the money on the Galleries' greatest need at the time the legacy gift is received, however, you may choose to help fund specific areas of work like Gallery improvements, future exhibitions, purchasing new works of art or costume for display, conservation, or to support our education and community work. You may also be considering leaving a specific object or work of art for future generations of Gallery visitors to enjoy. If this is the case we would always welcome discussing this with you first so we can establish its relevance to the existing collection.

There's more information and advice available in our downloadable brochure, A lasting cultural legacy, and further advice on Including Manchester City Galleries in your Will.

How you can leave a gift

It is always advisable to consult a solicitor or legal advisor when making or altering your will. They will provide all the legacy and tax advice you need. Bequests to Manchester Art Gallery Trust (charity registration no. 1048581) are exempt from inheritance tax. This could reduce or eliminate any potential tax which might otherwise be payable from your estate.

If you are considering leaving a legacy, either a specific gift or the residue of your estate, or perhaps a specific work of art or costume, please contact us so we can provide you with more information and discuss your plans with you. In the first instance, please contact:

Jo Beggs
Head of Development

Tel: 07917 553040
Email: jo.beggs@manchester.ac.uk


A lasting cultural legacy
Including Manchester City Galleries in your Will

Any information you give will be in confidence and is not legally binding.

Supported by

We are very grateful to our sponsors JMW Solicitors LLP and Hurst Accountants.

JMW                 Hurst Accountants

Brochure supported by Pelican Press.

Pellican Press

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