FOREIGN SECRETARY VISITS BLETCHLEY PARK TO ANNOUNCE £480,000 FUNDING
Released : Oct 21, 2012
William Hague makes funding available for the restoration of Bletchley Park
The Bletchley Park Trust welcomed the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, on his visit to the Home of the Codebreakers on Thursday 18 October 2012. During his visit, Mr Hague announced that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made a donation which unlocked a significant Heritage Lottery Fund Grant that will save derelict historic buildings and transform Bletchley Park into a world-class heritage site. During his visit Mr Hague met WW2 Codebreaking veterans including Captain Jerry Roberts, Lord Asa Briggs, Charlotte Webb, Gwendoline Page and Baroness Trumpington and was enthralled by a demonstration of the Enigma and the Bombe machines by WW2 WRENs, Ruth Bourne and Jean Valentine.
The Bletchley Park Trust is enormously grateful to the FCO for the contribution of £480,000 to complete the £2.4 million matchfunding element to unlock a further £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant. This will allow the Trust to commence the vital restoration of historic codebreaking huts and the creation of a world-class visitor centre and educational exhibition.
Public interest in Bletchley Park has grown at a tremendous rate over the past few years with visitor numbers increasing from 44,000 in 2006 to 140,000 in 2011. For the period January to September 2012 visitor numbers year were 25% greater than for the same time period of last year. Operationally this is creating an enormous challenge for the Bletchley Park Trust in terms of capacity to meet visitors' needs. The restoration of the currently derelict Block C and its development into a large visitor centre and exhibition space will enable the Trust to service these visitors far more efficiently and effectively.
Mathematics and History form the core of the formal education offer at Bletchley Park. This grant will enable the Trust to double the educational benefits of this offer. The Trust currently has 7,700 students per year through its formal education programme. After completion of the project this will increase to 16,800 students through the programme covering maths, IT, history and codes and ciphers. The Trust currently has no capacity to undertake educational outreach however at project completion it will be engaging with up to 7,000 students on its Enigma Outreach programme and 4,000 students on its Maths Roadshow programme. The additional education outreach resource will also benefit community groups such as homes for the elderly, youth clubs and scout and guide groups.
William Hague said "Bletchley Park was the scene of one of the finest achievements in our nationís history." Speaking to the veterans who had shown him around the Huts and Blocks, he said " I believe I speak for many of us working in government and politics today when I say that we strive to live up to and build on your generationís achievements on behalf of our country."
During his speech, Mr Hague also announced that, "GHCQ will introduce a new recruitment policy aimed at attracting a wider pool of cyber expertise by moving to an open-door and continuous recruitment strategy. GCHQ will no longer only recruit annually, and it will be looking not only for those with a university degree but those with relevant experience or vocational qualifications so that we attract a wider pool of cyber talent"