Feeds

Bletchley Park gets £330k lifeline

Historic code-breaking centre bailed out by English Heritage

The next step in data security

Bletchley Park has secured a much-needed lifeline with a £330,000 grant from English Heritage.

The funds will be used to carry out urgent roof repair work on buildings within the historic WWII code-breaking centre. Talks that could lead to a further grant of £600,000 over the next three years are under way between English Heritage, Milton Keynes Borough Council and the Bletchley Park Trust, the BBC adds.

3-rotor WWII Enigma

A three-rotor WWII Enigma machine on display at last month's RSA Conference

The mansion in Buckinghamshire was home to the Colossus computer, the world's first programmable computer, and the base of code-cracking efforts against Enigma that gave the Allies a vital intelligence edge during WWII. Rooms in the 130-year-old grade-II listed building are at risk because the roof has been patched repeatedly rather than properly replaced. The issue led to an appeal, to which English Heritage has responded by funding repair work expected to finish in March 2009.

"Bletchley Park played a fundamental role in the Allies winning the Second World War and is of great importance to the history of Europe," said Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage.

"English Heritage 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 plight of the centre was publicised after a group of leading scientists wrote a letter to The Times calling for the government to rescue the site, which had fallen into disrepair. The grant from English Heritage removes the threat hanging over the main building but still leaves the problem of renovating the wooden huts in the grounds of Bletchley Park, where the likes of Alan Turing worked to unravel the secrets of Enigma.

The Bletchley Park Trust has raised £5m since taking over the site in 1992. The site was shrouded in secrecy for years after the war and plans were even tabled to demolish the site, which was in an advanced state of decay, and build a housing complex in 1991 before wiser counsel prevailed.

The pledge from English Heritage follows a £100,000 grant by IBM and PGP to the National Museum of Computing, which shares the same site. The site doesn't receive funding from the government and was turned down for a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; hence the need for further fund raising work, in particular to renovate the huts described by The Times as looking "like a garden shed that’s been left for 60 years". ®

Bootnote

Reg readers are invited to donate to Bletchley Park either directly here or by buying one of our fine Enigma-themed T-shirts here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.