Bletchley Park awarded funds for historic restoration
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 05 October 2011

Bletchley Park (UK) has secured a £4.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the establishment of a visitor centre dedicated to the World War II Codebreakers.

During the Second World War Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire England was the secret location for Britain's code decryption team. Working in total secrecy this group of men and women, among them the computer pioneer Alan Turing, systematically broke the backbone of Germany’s communications cypher system – Enigma – and the even more complex cypher system used by Hitler and his High Command – Lorenz.. This work in intercepting and decoding messages  is said to have shortened the war by, perhaps, two years.

After the war Bletchley Park, including the huts and blocks where the codebreakers worked, deteriorated into into a state of near-dereliction. This neglect was largely due to the secrecy that surrounded this important war work and it is only in recent years that the significance of the site has been recognised.

This year saw the unveiling of a new memorial to the Codebreakers in the grounds of Bletchley Park by Her Majesty the Queen and shortly after her visit a new fund raising campaign for the restoration of the iconic huts where the code-breaking teams worked was  inaugurated with help and sponsorship from Google.

 

blockc_bletchleypk

Block C is currently off limits to visitors

The Heritage Lottery grant represents a big step towards the Bletchley Park Trust's aim to complete the restoration of the site and extend the current visitor facilities to tell the story of codebreaking at Bletchley Park.

According to the press release:

When the Codebreakers wrote to Churchill, in October 1941, starved of resources to do their essential work, Churchill immediately ordered, “Action this day!  Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this had been done”.  Exactly seventy years on it is resonant that the Heritage Lottery Fund are doing as Churchill asked.  Their decision will be welcomed by the millions of people in this country and abroad who have supported the Park's restoration, and take pride in its achievements.

Once a further £1.7 million in "match funding" has been raised, the grant will enable the restoration of  Codebreaking Huts 1, 3 and 6 and create a world-class visitor centre and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C.

The Bletchley Park Trust has launched the ‘Action This Day’ campaign to raise the match funding now needed. For details of how to support it visit:  www.bletchleypark.org.uk

Related articles:

Google extends support for Bletchley Park

The Queen visits Bletchley Park

EDSAC replica to be built at Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park - site of national (UK) importance

Alan Turing 

Colossus

 

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