Bletchley Park

Facebook commits £1m to ‘help keep Bletchley Park open to the world’

Image: A mural of Alan Turing made out of dominoes at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California © Facebook

In recognition of Bletchley Park’s ground-breaking work in “laying the foundations of modern computer science”, social media giant Facebook has donated £1 million to the Buckinghamshire institution at a time of great financial uncertainty.

“Facebook simply would not exist today if not for Bletchley Park,” says Mike Schroepfer, the firm’s chief technology officer. “The work of its most brilliant scientist, Alan Turing, still inspires our tens of thousands of engineers and research scientists today, and is foundational to the entire field of computing, which has and will continue to shape the lives of billions of people.”

More than 3,000 people are employed by Facebook in Britain. The country is like a “second home” for the company, according to Schroepfer, and that makes supporting “one of the UK’s national treasures” all the more important.

“It’s impossible to separate the legacy of Bletchley Park from the UK’s ecosystem of scientific excellence that Facebook is fortunate to be part of,” he notes.

Bletchley Park has been hit hard by the pandemic, with losses of around £2 million forecast this year. A plethora of cost-saving measures have now been implemented or placed under review, with a third of its workforce facing redundancy.

“Like too many of our favourite places, it has been hit hard by a drop in visitors and revenue this year, pushing it toward difficult decisions about its future,” concludes the company’s chief technology officer.

“Facebook is honoured to be able to provide £1 million of support to help keep Bletchley Park open to the world.”