Bletchley Park wins crucial funding using Facebook and Twitter

Bletchley Park, where the world's first computer broke secret German codes during the Second World War, has used social networking to help win a prestigious award.

Bletchley Park, where the world's first computer broke secret German codes during the Second World War, has used social networking to help win a prestigious award.

The site has been languishing for decades, bereft of funding to repair the crumbling buildings where the crucial code-breaking work went on.

But its fortunes are slowly turning around, and it is the clever use of sites like Facebook, Flickr and Twitter that has helped to get the message out.

Computer scientist Dr Sue Black has assembled a collection of followers on the sites, which naturally attract IT enthusiasts.

Bletchley has now beaten buildings like Cardiff's Millennium Stadium to win the top prize in the archaeological Building with Pride awards and has secured £600,000 funding for repairs. The award was based on a poll asking people to choose the building which inspires the most pride in the British public.

It is likely that many of Bletchley's votes in the competition came from the well-executed online campaign.

Dr Black told the BBC, "We wouldn't have won without social media. This kind of campaign wouldn't have been possible a few years back. It's power to the people."

The site has a way to go before it is a fitting tribute to the site where code-breakers and some of the world's first computer scientists helped to win the war, but with the help of social media, awareness is growing.

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