UK entrepreneur Matt Crotty has promised to donate a million pounds to the Bletchley Park Trust. The donation will mean the trust, which is home to the National Museum of Computing and, during WWII, the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), can continue with plans to remodel. However, there's a catch: the public has to donate a million quid as well.
The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) reports that the pledge was made on a "matched funding" basis. As such, it has started a campaign to raise money to ensure it gets Crotty's donation. For every pound donated by the public, Crotty will donate a pound, with his donation maxing out at £1 million. "My decision to donate has also been motivated by the increasing public awareness of the significance of digital heritage and the role and understanding it can play in inspiring current and future generations to become engineers and computer scientists," Crotty, a technology entrepreneur and a trustee of TNMOC, is quoted as saying.
Earlier this year, Crotty's company, InsightSoftware.com, sponsored a new Software Gallery at the National Museum of Computing. The gallery includes a programming language timeline, an exploded computer that shows off the internals of a PC, a robotics display, a computer language database, an early accounting software machine called the Burroughs L5000, a display on the pervasiveness of software in the home, and a special programming challenge for visitors.
Despite its name, the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park is an independent charity. It houses the largest collection of functional historic computers in Europe, including a rebuilt Colossus (pictured above) and the WITCH, the world's oldest working computer. Crotty's donation would represent the largest single donation the Trust has ever received.