October 5, 2011
Bletchley Park Wins £4.6M Lottery Funding & Calls To Action To Raise Remaining £1.7MFantastic news today from the Bletchley Park Trust. They've secured £4.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will mean that work may soon be able to commence on restoring iconic buildings like codebreaking Huts 1, 3 and 6 and on developing the currently derelict Block C into a world-class visitor centre and exhibition.
This momentous decision comes after years of preparation and hard work by trust CEO Dr Simon Greenish, operations director Kelsey Griffin, and the amazingly dedicated staff - many of them unpaid volunteers - of Bletchley Park. As a patron, I know just how much time and effort's gone into securing this vital funding.
Hats off, too, to the good folk of the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is a wise decision, and one that I don't doubt will prove popular with supporters.
But, though we may be on the home straight, we're not quite over the finish line yet. Before the work on the buildings can begin, we must still raise match-funding of £1.7 million. So, the game's afoot!
Today, the trust is unveiling their Action This Day campaign, inspired by Churchill's reply to a letter from the codebreakers when they were starved of resources:
"Action this day! Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this had been done."
On hearing the news, Stephen Fry - a long-time supporter of Bletchley Park - had this to say:
"Today marks a monumental triumph for the Bletchley Park Trust. This investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund will finally enable the Trust to do justice to this amazing place in tribute to the tremendous intellectual feat of those who worked there. Not only did these people alter the very course of history by helping to secure the allied victory, thereby quietly and modestly providing us with the free world, they also gave birth to the Information Age which underpins the way we all live today. HLF has ensured that recognition for these extraordinary accomplishments is finally in sight. Now we must all see that the Trust is given every support it needs in order to raise the match funding required to make this project a wonderful reality."
(Read the full press release.)
As a patron and a software developer, I know that many of you have given generously to help Bletchley Park. But now I must ask for one last major push. In an industry worth trillions, we should surely be able to find a healthy slice of that £1.7M pie!
Or maybe your company could help? Tech companies like Google, IBM, HP and many others have recognised the vital contribution made by the likes of Alan Turing, Max Newman and Tommy Flowers to the computing industry, and have generously supported the trust in recent years. I would love to think UK tech could do our bit for Bletchley Park, just as Bletchley Park did their bit for UK tech. Whether we know it or not, anyone who makes a living from computers owes a debt to them.
Just think: if every professional programmer in the UK helped just a little bit, we'd get that match-funding (and then some) in no time at all. And if every UK tech company with a turnover more than £10M - including banks, supermarkets etc etc who rely on computers - got involved, Bletchley Park need never worry about finding funding again. If your business is computing, this is a very good thing to have your brand associated with.
Visit ACTION THIS DAY to find out how you can help.
Posted 4 days, 2 hours ago on October 5, 2011