Facebook's £1m donation will help heritage charity survive

The company says some of its developments would not have been possible without the work carried out at Bletchley Park

(Photograph: Bletchley Park Trust/Bureau for Visual Affairs)
(Photograph: Bletchley Park Trust/Bureau for Visual Affairs)

The social media giant Facebook has donated £1m to the Bletchley Park Trust in an attempt to to preserve the spiritual home of modern computing.

The trust was at the heart of allied code-breaking attempts during the Second World War.

In August, the charity announced that nearly one-third of its workforce, about 35 roles, was at risk of redundancy as it looked to fill a £2m hole in its budget left by the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial impact of Covid-19 meant that from March to July this year it lost more than 95 per cent of its income.

The donation is expected to save some at-risk roles and enable the continuation of Bletchley Park’s visitor experience, exhibitions and learning programmes, although the charity was unable to confirm how many positions might be reprieved. 

Steve Hatch, vice president for Northern Europe at Facebook, said: “The historic achievements of Alan Turing and the Bletchley team have benefited all of us greatly, including Facebook, and we’re thrilled to help preserve this spiritual home of modern computing.”

Hatch said some of the company’s technological developments would not have been possible without the legacy of Turing and his team, and said he hoped that by keeping the trust open it could inspire the next generation of engineers.

The trust said it had also received a £447,000 grant this week from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Culture Recovery Fund, which will contribute to the charity’s operational running costs and alleviate some of the £2m deficit it anticipates in 2020.

Iain Standen, chief executive of Bletchley Park, said: “With this significant support, we at Bletchley Park can weather the current crisis and survive into the future, keeping the doors open for future generations.”

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in