Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/25/bletchley_gov_cash/

Whitehall coughs £250k for Bletchley Park pothole repairs

That's £50k less than Milton Keynes council gave

By Lewis Page

Posted in Government, 25th March 2010 16:10 GMT

Famed World War II codebreaking centre Bletchley Park has been given £250k by the British government - which owes its existence to work performed at the site - for urgent repairs.

The money comes from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and is intended to allow managers at the historic site to deal with potholes and roof repairs.

"This enormously-appreciated funding boost will not only enable vital repair and maintenance but it also represents endorsement by the DCMS that Bletchley Park is a place of national importance," Bletchley chief Simon Greenish told the BBC.

Famously, German "Enigma" military encryption (and many other Axis ciphering methods) were defeated at the site - also known as "Station X" - during the war. This gave the Allies a massive advantage in various critical battles, not least the pivotal antisubmarine struggle in the Atlantic. The famous "Colossus" machines, some of the world's first digital computers, operated at Bletchley, and legendary figures such as Alan Turing were among the personnel.

Despite the great achievements which occurred at Station X, the Trust which runs it as a museum nowadays has always been hard up - perhaps because its place in history remained largely unknown to the general public until the 1970s.

Whitehall is now offering some minimal help to deal with the worst effects of the passing decades. Even Milton Keynes council has donated more in the past, however.

"The work carried out at Bletchley Park had a huge impact on the course of the war, and the museum does a brilliant job in bringing this alive for people of all ages," said culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, announcing the stingy handout.

"Having doubled its visitor numbers over the last three years, it urgently needs funds to keep it in good condition," he added.

The Trust was also awarded £500k of Lottery money in October. ®