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Bletchley Park lands £4.6m restoration bonanza

Codebreaking centre still needs private donations

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Wartime codebreakers HQ Bletchley Park has won a grant of £4.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The much-needed funds will be used to build a visitor centre at the historic WWII number-crunching centre as well as carrying out restoration work on other buildings at the facility - once matched funding of £1.7m from private-sector donations has been raised.

Bletchley Park has launched an "Action This Day" campaign to raise the required private funding.

The codebreakers at Bletchley Park played a vital role in cracking the German wartime Enigma and Lorenz codes providing intelligence that was vital to the Battle of the Atlantic and the D-Day landings. Historians credit the work with shortening the war by up to two years.

After the conflict and while the work remained a top secret, many of the huts and blocks in which the code-breaking boffins toiled away quietly descended into near-dereliction. Over recent years the facility has been transformed into a museum that attracts 130,000 punters a year.

The grant will not only allow the conservation of the buildings but improve the educational offering and visitor experience at Bletchley Park. ®

Bootnote

The Action This Day campaign's name was derived from Churchill's reaction to requests for help from the codebreakers, starved of funding and resources at the time, in October 1941. Churchill immediately ordered, “Action this day! Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this had been done.”

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