Google donates £550,000 to Bletchley Park

The search giant has donated funds that will help unlock a £4.6m lottery grant to preserve historic code-breaking huts

Google has donated over half a million pounds to Bletchley Park, the home of Britain's World War II code-breaking operation, as part of efforts to unlock a £4.6m lottery grant.

Bletchley Park hut

Google has donated half a million pounds to restore World War II-era code-breaking huts at Bletchley Park. Photo credit: Bletchley Park

The search and advertising company donated £550,000 towards funding needed to restore Huts 1, 3 and 6 at Bletchley Park, the Bletchley Park Trust said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It's a very significant sum," Trust director Simon Greenish told ZDNet UK on Thursday. "Other than the lottery, this is our biggest single donation. There's still more money to raise, but this has broken the back of what we have to do."

The Google donation, coupled with other contributions, means that Bletchley Park has raised over half of the £1.7m needed to unlock the lottery funding, said Greenish.

Google launched a fund-raising appeal for Bletchley Park in August, and donated funds of around £62,000 towards the acquisition of code-breaker and mathematician Alan Turing's papers in February.

"Google are becoming very significant supporters of Bletchley Park," said Greenish.

Foreign minister William Hague expressed his support for Bletchley Park in a Twitter post on Thursday.

"Excellent news for preservation of historic site RT @bletchleypark NEWS! Google donates £550,000 for #bpark restoration vision!" tweeted Hague.

Peter Barron, director of external relations for Google in Europe, said in a statement: "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. We are delighted to make this charitable donation to help support the next phase of this important project."

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