Bletchley Park wins £330,000 lifeline

The home of Colossus and the 'birthplace of computing' gets a major shot in the arm from English Heritage

Bletchley Park

Historic World War II codebreaking centre Bletchley Park has been handed a 330,000 lifeline from English Heritage.

It is one of the biggest grants awarded by English Heritage this year, and will be used for urgent roof works at the estate's grade II listed mansion. The work will protect rooms which are at high risk of irreparable damage from water seepage.

Bletchley Park is where World War II codebreakers such as Alan Turing cracked the German Enigma code, and had a fundamental role in winning the Allies winning the war.

It also houses the first programmable computer in Colossus and is home to the Museum of Computing, which IT PRO visited very recently.

English Heritage said that it wasn't only concerned with architectural set pieces, with wartime huts at Bletchley of great historical importance due to their roles in housing equipment and personnel working to crack the Enigma code.

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage said: "[The public body] is committed to saving this fascinating group of buildings so that future generations can understand something of the enormous human endeavour which went on there."

The Bletchley Park Trust said that the awarding of the grant not only secured the preservation of the mansion but was also the start of a regeneration initiative to transform Bletchley Park into a world-class heritage and education centre.

The Trust is now discussing with English Heritage and Milton Keynes Borough Council on a partnership scheme to restore restoration of the Bletchley Park huts.

Previous to the grant, 57,000 was donated by PGP and IBM. In July IT PRO also published an in-depth feature on Bletchley Park and its need for support.

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