Bletchley Park Trust, the charity behind the conservation of the World War II codebreaking centre near Milton Keynes, has announced the receipt of £550,000 from Google to help unlock a Heritage Lottery Fund of £4.6 million.
Part of a £15 million project to transform the Bletchley Park site into a world-class heritage and educational centre, the Heritage Lottery Fund money will only be granted if the Trust can provide 'match funding' - a goal towards which the Google funds will be put.
Google's backing draws the Bletchley Park Trust nearer to its goal of developing the site, both to educate and inspire generations to come and as a permanent testament to the brilliant people who worked there. Once the remaining funding is in place the Trust will get underway with the restoration of iconic codebreaking huts 1, 3 and 6 and create a world-class visitor centre and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C. This development will not only conserve buildings of highly-significant heritage value and but also considerably improve the educational offering and visitor experience at Bletchley Park.
"The Bletchley Park Trust has been doing great work to honour Alan Turing and the codebreakers who helped shorten the second world war and to educate the next generation about the history of modern computing," explained Peter Barron, Google's director of external relations. "We are delighted to make this charitable donation to help support the next phase of this important project."
"We are tremendously grateful to Google for bringing us considerably closer to achieving our development aims," said Simon Greenish, chief executive officer of the Bletchley Park Trust. "We have received other generous contributions towards the project but this is the largest single element of the partnership funding and absolutely vital in potentially getting the project underway much sooner than might otherwise have been the case.
It would be wonderful if other donors follow Google's example to help preserve our computing heritage," added Greenish. "We could then proceed as soon as possible with restoration of the profoundly historically significant codebreaking huts."