Google has come to the aid of Bletchley Park with a £550,000 donation to help the famous World War II code breaking site kickstart a £15m development project.
The funds, which come from the Google.org philanthropic arm, will move the Bletchley Park Trust a step closer to its goal of unlocking a £4.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant as it tries to develop the site into a heritage and education center.
The Trust needs to come up with £2.4m in matching funding to unlock the grant, which will be spent on conserving buildings of "highly significant heritage value", improving the educational facilities and enhancing the site for visitors.
Specifically, work will take place on restoring huts 1, 3 and 6 which housed the scientists who worked on cracking the codes created by the Nazi Enigma and Lorenz cipher machines, as well as creating a visitor center and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C.
Simon Greenish, chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, thanked Google for the donation.
"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 possible," he said. "It would be wonderful if other donors follow Google's example to help preserve our computing heritage. We could then proceed as soon as possible with restoration of the profoundly historically significant code-breaking huts."