During World War II, British intelligence operated a codebreaking facility at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes about 40 miles outside of London. Due to the capture of an Enigma machine from a Nazi submarine, Allied forces were able to decrypt many Nazi communications and stay ahead of the enemy while not giving their intelligence away. The work of the Bletchley Park staff, particularly Alan Turing, set the foundation for many later developments in the Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence fields.
Regrettably Bletchley Park has fallen into disrepair since the end of World War II, and its restoration has not been a priority of the British government. Google, who had previously purchased Alan Turing’s papers in order to preserve them and provide support for the restoration project, recently announced it was donating £550,000 (approximately $860,000 US) to help with the restoration efforts. The donation will help generate matching funds to trigger a £4.6 million donation from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We’re happy to see that Google takes a broader view on its corporate citizenship and is willing to help preserve this geek mecca.