Google Donates £550,000 to Aid Bletchley Park

The main house at Bletchley ParkGoogle 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."

The £4.5m Lottery fund was granted in October.

This article was originally published on V3.

About the author

Phil Muncaster is news editor at V3.co.uk, a role he has fulfilled since January 2010. Previously he was chief reporter for IT Week, having also worked as a reporter and senior reporter on the publication from 2005.

Before IT Week, Phil worked as a researcher for the Rough Guide. Prior to his work in journalism, Phil spent three years teaching English in Japan.