The Ongoing Saga of Bletchley Park’s Survival

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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