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National Museum of Computing Receives Largest Ever Donation

Bletchley Park Capital Partners (BPCP) and its associates have donated £100,000 to The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) to help secure its future and enable its further development.

Officially opened in 2008, TNMOC now ranks amongst the top three dedicated computer museums in the world. Visitors can see and sometimes even use rare or unique working exhibits spanning seven decades of computing development.

The BPCP funding will be used to help pay the Museum’s running costs and to help secure its long-term future and independence. BPCP will also provide resources to redecorate the Museum building, the historic Block H which, as home to the war-time Colossus machines, was the world’s first purpose-built computer centre.

Jon Fell, a director and trustee of TNMOC said: “This very generous donation from Bletchley Park Capital Partners (BPCP) and its associates is our largest-ever consortium donation and is fantastic news for the Museum. The Foundation Sponsorship programme that we launched earlier this year is now bearing fruit and we hope that more companies will want to contribute to the invaluable educational and heritage resource that we wish to expand.”

Fell continued: “With the hard work of our dedicated and unpaid volunteers, we have been able to put on public display an astonishing range of world-class exhibits. BPCP’s funding not only helps secure the Museum’s future, but, with their experience in refurbishing buildings at Bletchley Park, will also enable us to sharpen up the Museum environment for visitors and volunteers.”

Tim Reynolds, Chairman of Bletchley Park Capital Partners said: “As neighbours of TNMOC on Bletchley Park, we have watched the development of the computing museum with great interest and admiration. We are amazed at how much they have been able to achieve considering that they have received no Government or Lottery funding and pay rent for its premises on Bletchley Park.

“The existence of the computer museum on this historic site alongside some great new innovative technology companies is an inspiration. We believe that TNMOC has lots more potential to be released by further funding and would encourage other companies to join us in our support of this tremendous educational and cultural resource. We have committed to provide further financial support on top of this donation. Further news will follow. These are exciting times for TNMOC.”

The growing range of displays at TNMOC include a rebuild of Colossus Mk II acknowledged as the world’s first modern computer, the ongoing restoration of the WITCH-Harwell computer of the 1950s, mainframes of the 1960s, the NPL Gallery on the Technology of the Internet, plus hands-on micros from the 1970s and 1980s and a retro-programming classroom.

BPCP established the Bletchley Park Science and Innovation Centre in 2004 in conjunction with the Bletchley Park Trust to foster the growth and development of dynamic knowledge-based businesses by providing serviced commercial offices and support on Bletchley Park.

Earlier this year became TNMOC’s first Foundation Sponsor. Previously BCS, PGP Corporation, IBM, Hewlett Packard were instrumental in making contributions to help develop the Museum.

By contributing £12,500 each year for three years, any company can become a TNMOC Foundation Sponsor and receive a range of benefits including display space, invitations to previews, launches and special events, preferential access for company away-days and wide acknowledgement of the company as a key supporter of education and conservation of our digital heritage.

About Bletchley Park Capital Partners
BPCP established the Bletchley Park Science and Innovation Centre in blocks A and E of Bletchley Park in 2004 in conjunction with the Bletchley Park Trust. It was set up with the triple objectives of providing much-needed revenue for the Bletchley Park Trust, to foster the growth and development of dynamic knowledge-based businesses by providing serviced commercial offices and support on Bletchley Park, and to stimulate the local economy. It was the first and is the largest contributor to the Bletchley Park Trust having invested over £1.5 million through rent, refurbishment (including the first floor of the Mansion) and infrastructure.
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About The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park
The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, an independent charity, houses the largest collection of functional historic computers in Europe, including a rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic programmable computer.

The Museum complements the Bletchley Park Trust’s story of code breaking up to the Colossus and allows visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s. New working exhibits are regularly unveiled and the public can already view a rebuilt and fully operational Colossus, the restoration of the Harwell / WITCH computer, and an ICL 2966, one of the workhorse mainframes computers of the 1980s, plus many of the earliest desktops of the 1980s and 1990s. The latest display is the much-talked-about Technology of the Internet gallery. In June 2010 TNMOC hosted Britain’s first-ever Vintage Computer Festival.

Funders of the Museum include Bletchley Park Capital Partners, BCS, PGP Corporation, IBM, NPL, HP Labs,, Black Marble, and the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire.

The Museum is currently open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 1pm, and on Bank Holidays in spring and summer. Guided tours are also available at 2.30pm on Tuesdays and some other days. Groups may visit at other times by arrangement.

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