US firms donate $100,000 to help save Bletchley Park

LONDON — The Americans have joined the campaign to save Bletchley Park, the home of code breaking during the Second World War, as well as of Britain's computing heritage, with IBM and computer security specialist PGP already pledging £57,000 (about $100,000) to secure the facilitys future.

The donation will help restore exhibits at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, (Buckinghamshire, England).

The two firms said they hoped the money would kick-start further donations from the technology industry to make up an estimated £7million needed to run the museum.

Exhibits include Colossus, thought by many to be the world's first computer.

Today, Bletchley is home to the National Museum of Computing but a lack of funding has sadly made the facilities fall into a state of decay.

PGP said as an encryption firm, the company has a strong connection to the pioneer work that went on at Bletchley Park. PGP CEO Phillip Dunkelberger said the company also believes the technology industry as a whole owes a huge historical debt to Bletchley Park and has a duty to preserve and protect the site for future generations.

Andy Clark, a director and a trustee at the museum, said he was thrilled by the donation.

"This is a kick-start, these guys are really helping us out by getting us the support of the technology community really for the first time."

He said of the £7 million the museum hoped to raise, about £1million would go towards restoration and curation and the rest would be entrusted to a fund to allow the museum to run without charging an entrance fee.

The British Computer Society had already donated £75,000 and about £50,000 had come through personal donations.

Earlier this year, about 100 academics signed a letter to The Times saying the code-cracking centre, and crucible of the UK computer industry, was being allowed to fall into decay.

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