Bletchley Park site needs "urgent repairs"

The site of Britain's war-time code breaking efforts is in a "desperate state of decay".

Bletchley Park, the iconic site of Britain's code-breaking efforts during the Second World War, is in a "desperate state of decay", according to the site's management.

The Bletchley Park Trust, which oversees the museum in Milton Keynes, says the site requires urgent repairs. The Victorian mansion which once housed the Government Code and Cypher School requires around 1 million worth of restoration.

"The mansion requires urgent repairs. We've started on the worst of it, mainly the roof but there's not enough money to finish," said Simon Greenish, director of The Bletchley Park Trust.

The charity, which receives no on-going public funding, is appealing to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help, with Greenish admitting talks are at "an extremely early stage."

Ultimately, he says, the aim is to turn "a site of international importance, into a museum of international quality" though first the Trust must deal with "a sustained backlog of aged and decrepit buildings", including the code-breaking huts which are "in a desperate state of decay."

Bletchley Park was the home of the giant Colossus machines used to break German codes. Its most famous victory came in deciphering the infamous Enigma code, which was directly responsible for the Allied success in repelling the U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic.

More recently the machines were rebuilt to take part in a code-breaking competition with modern computers, with Colossus cracking the code three hours after its modern brethren.

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