Bletchley Park Trust is delighted to announce the next phase of development for the Bletchley Park heritage site and museum. Plans have been developed to create new exhibition spaces, a Collection Centre and a Learning facility, as part of our long-standing ambition to preserve and enhance Bletchley Park as a world-class visitor attraction. This will be the first time these buildings will be open as part of our heritage offer, giving us a unique opportunity to share more of our untold stories and shed light on this crucial part of British World War Two history.
Our aim is to rediscover the wartime fabric of three buildings at the heart of our site – Blocks A, E and the Teleprinter Extension. Block A will provide brand new permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, revealing more of Bletchley Park’s remarkable people stories and insights into its contribution to breaking Axis Naval codes and ciphers. The Teleprinter Extension will become our new Collection Centre to store and make accessible the large and diverse collection held here. Finally, Block E will become a dedicated Learning facility. These works will be transformational, building capacity to welcome over 300,000 visitors and over 50,000 students annually as well as cementing Bletchley Park’s reputation as a premier heritage site.
Block A was previously home to Naval Section from August 1942 until the end of the war. Naval Section was responsible for the analysis and dissemination of Enigma and other encrypted messages, to provide the Royal Navy with vital intelligence about the operations of enemy vessels. The Teleprinter Extension was an additional structure constructed to the north of the main Teleprinter Building. It was begun in mid-1942, and then extended in the Winter of 1943-1944. Block E, the signals building, was first used in April 1943. Nearly all incoming and outgoing communications passed through, or were managed, here.
Iain Standen, CEO of Bletchley Park Trust, said: “Bletchley Park has undergone huge transformation in recent years becoming a popular heritage attraction with over 250,000 visitors a year. This project allows us to build on this success by making more of the site and its amazing story accessible. We hope that this will encourage even more people to visit and engage with this important part of World War Two history.”
Sir David Brown, Chairman of Bletchley Park Trust, said: “This next phase of development brings us another big step closer to realising our vision for Bletchley Park to be recognised worldwide for the achievements that took place here during World War Two and their timeless relevance for present and future generations.”
We are pleased to announce the support of the following donors and sponsors of the project.
Our Lead Principal Sponsor for the Block A permanent exhibition will be BAE Systems, an international defence technology company which delivers cyber security and maritime programmes across the globe. The sponsorship is the latest chapter of a partnership between Bletchley Park Trust and BAE Systems which aims to keep our shared heritage alive.
Mark Phillips, Group Communications Director, BAE Systems, said: “We are delighted to support the Bletchley Park Trust in bringing to life the story of the Naval Section’s crucial role in the Allied victory during World War Two.
“We are proud of the Heritage on which our business is built and we continue to draw inspiration from it as we support our Armed Forces today.
“The ability to solve problems and turn huge quantities of data into intelligence is what Bletchley Park was renowned for, and these same skills are embodied by our people.
“Through this sponsorship, we hope we can keep the inspirational work of the Bletchley Park Codebreakers alive.”
We are also pleased to have the Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Foundation, Inc and the FCC Communities Foundation as project Principal Supporters.
Thomas L. Kempner, Jr, President of the Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Foundation, Inc., said: “As a former student of computer science at Yale University and lifelong fan of Alan Turing, I am very pleased to support the organisation’s plans for Blocks A and E. Bletchley Park is a birthplace of computer science and I am delighted to be involved in the future of this important heritage site.”
Simon Settle, General Manager of FCC Communities Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Bletchley Park Trust with the next phase of development. This is an exciting project to be involved with, as for the first time the visiting public will have access to these unique buildings. The space created in Block A will allow visitors to appreciate the permanent exhibitions, but also appeal to a wider audience visiting the temporary exhibitions. We are looking forward to working alongside the Trust and other funders to further develop what is already a unique visitor attraction that will inspire future generations, whilst recognising the incredible achievements of the past.”
Other generous support includes the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance, Dr Edmund O. Schweitzer III and Mrs Beatriz Schweitzer, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation and other Trusts, Foundations, Companies and Individuals. Specific funding for access provision has been supported by funding from the MK Community Foundation.
Ian Revell, Chief Executive MK Community Foundation, said: “Milton Keynes Community Foundation are passionate about supporting local organisations and charities to deliver accessible projects. Accessibility is imperative to creating and promoting equality across all visitors, and we are proud to be involved in this exciting project focusing on inclusivity at Bletchley Park.”
The first part of the project due to open is our new Learning facility in Block E in 2021, followed by new exhibitions spaces in Block A in 2022. More updates on the project will follow later in the year.