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Shropshire
Sunday, November 28, 2021

Shrewsbury birthplace of Charles Darwin secured by cyber tech entrepreneur

A cyber tech security entrepreneur and philanthropist has stepped in to save the historical birthplace and childhood home of Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury.

Pictured outside the Birthplace of Charles Darwin are Mike Marchant co-ordinator and curator for The Darwin and Louis-James Davis of VST Enterprises Ltd who has stepped in to save the historical birthplace
Pictured outside the Birthplace of Charles Darwin are Mike Marchant co-ordinator and curator for The Darwin and Louis-James Davis of VST Enterprises Ltd who has stepped in to save the historical birthplace

Louis-James Davis the Manchester-based innovator and entrepreneur was approached to help to rescue Darwin House in Shrewsbury from obscurity and dilapidation and to restore it as an important global asset.

Mount House a Georgian Grade II listed building located on the Mount in Shrewsbury, is of major national, historical and scientific importance as the birthplace of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution.

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Louis-James Davis – who invented the VCode® and VPlatform® encryption software and is one the UK’s youngest cyber tech multi-millionaires – agreed to buy the lease of the building and to develop a world class university facility and centre of excellence for global research and education in the natural sciences that fascinated Darwin for his entire life.

Future Secured

Inspired by Darwin’s personal struggles and his thirst for knowledge, Louis-James was keen to secure the future of Darwin’s birthplace and childhood home to develop into something meaningful to future for generations, especially young people.

In acquiring the lease, Louis-James will not only have secured the future of this historic building for the next two centuries but will have ensured that Darwin’s legacy to natural sciences and its significance to the study of evolution and natural history continue to be championed around the globe. Equally as important The Darwin will become a centre of world class excellence, to inspire young people and develop the next generation of gifted scientists to follow in Darwin’s footsteps.

Louis-James Davis CEO of VST Enterprises and Founder of Davis Co Holdings Ltd said:

“I am delighted to be involved with The Darwin and to support the great work and vision of the team who introduced it, including Mike Marchant, who has been a passionate advocate of this project to bring a world class university and centre of excellence to Shrewsbury. Working with partners in science, technology, education and local communities, we intend to develop a wide range of content for a worldwide digital learning platform for people of all ages.

“We are looking forward to working collaboratively with English Heritage, Shropshire Council and other bodies to restore this building of national and global importance.

“As we are all encouraged to go green there is an ever-increasing global demand for scientists. We need to encourage a new generation of young people to become scientists, researchers and disruptors. People who understand how we use natural resources and challenge conventional thinking. By creating The Darwin we can encourage, support, and develop the coming generations of young scientists and ignite their greater interest in natural botany, zoology and geology.”

Such is the importance attached to this initiative with international audiences that it has already secured two offers of endowments from wealthy individuals alone worth over £500M. Those two donors share the same collective vision of helping young people to be enchanted by natural phenomena and to develop their skills as botanists, zoologists and geologists.

Jobs and Tourism Boost

The Darwin will not only create inward investment to the region. It will also create many new jobs and boost tourism whilst also giving back the local community a building that celebrates and pays homage to the work of Charles Darwin.

Mike Marchant coordinator and curator for The Darwin said: “We are delighted and thrilled that Louis had the shared vision and empathy for The Darwin initiative and stepped in to support the project. Darwin was a disruptor to conventional thinking and the sciences, challenging the way in which generations before him saw the world around them. Louis is very much a parallel modern day disruptor in cyber technology, challenging the conventional way in which we think and use technology to better the world we live in. It was a natural joining of minds.

“This substantial private philanthropy will also mean that there will be major economic and academic benefits to Shrewsbury and Shropshire from The Darwin’s planned summer schools, lecture series and other events that will attract international visitors.”

Working closely with English Heritage, the local council and various other bodies it is envisaged that work on Darwin House will be completed by late 2022, restoring the buildings and giving them a new, important purpose.

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