Bletchley Park, the historic home of Britain’s WW2 codebreakers, will receive a £1m donation from Facebook to help it survive financial difficulties.
The Buckinghamshire country house and grounds, now a museum, was the secret home of allied cryptographers who famously cracked the Enigma and Lorenz ciphers during the Second World War.
Facing an income shortfall of around £2m due to falling visitor numbers during lockdown, the Bletchley Park Trust, which is a registered charity, was facing extensive redundancies – some of which will now be avoided.
In a statement, Facebook said the heritage site was a ‘birthplace of modern computing’, and acknowledged the important strategic role the wartime location played in shortening the war.
Bletchley was home to a number of famous mathematicians, linguists and other intellectuals working in secret on behalf of the war effort, including Alan Turing – now considered the father of modern computing – Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander and others. At its peak, almost 10,000 personnel, around 75% of which were women, worked as part of Bletchley’s operation, who remained bound by the Official Secrets Act until at least the 1970s.
The National Computing Museum, based at Bletchley, is also home to a replica of the Colossus Mark 2, lovingly rebuilt by volunteers: the world’s first ‘programmable’ electronic, digital computer.
You can learn more about Bletchley Park, and support the trust here.