The Ongoing Saga of Bletchley Park’s Survival

Posted on September 29th, 2009 by Karl Beecher

Bletchley Park, which was the codebreaking hub of the Allies during the Second World War and is now a sizeable and very entertaining museum, has had a rough time in recent years. Parts of it are in a dilapidated state and it seems to survive only on charitable donations and the careful devotion of those who work there. Recent news is encouraging: the Heritage Lottery Fund has given a provisional thumbs-up to a grant of around £500,000 (the application has now progressed to the next bidding stage), which is in addition to investment of around £1,000,000 from English Heritage and Milton Keynes Council. This is all good news and I hope more grants will be awarded. After all, the Park puts the cost of genuine renovation at around £10 million, meaning that these grants are still less than one-fifth of what is needed.

Whenever I am at Bletchley there the word “potential” is always in my mind. The museum is already a great place to visit with plenty to see, and the whole site covers a sizeable area with much potential for suitable development. As well as the many exhibits from the computer stone age that make Bletchley a technophiles dream, there are also many other exhibits about life during the Second World War (with stacks of contemporary artefacts) for those both at home and away at the front. I think Bletchley Park could be built up into a superb site, and a match for any heritage site in the country.

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