Bletchley Park Gets £330K Grant From English Heritage Charity

The building that was home to Britain's first programmable computer, Colossus, has received £330,000 from the English Heritage, a public body that helps protecting and promoting the historic environment in England.

The money will be used to carry out urgent repairs as the state of the Grade II-listed building roof threatens to endanger an important part of British war history.

The English Heritage, Milton Keynes Borough Council and the Bletchley Park Trust are in discussion to secure additional funds of £600,000 over the next three years.

The Trust has managed to raise more than £5 million over the last 16 years to keep the 130-year old mansion ticking.

During WWII, Bletchley Park was a buzzing hub with almost 10,000 people working in complete secrecy and helped breaking Hitler's Enigma code which helped saved thousands and shorten the war.

Back in July, a group of 100 computer scientists sent a ltter to the Times newspaper to request that the authorities act immediately to save Bletchley Park and in September, IBM and PGP gave £57,000 to help save the building and ultimately convert it into a National museum of computing. You can find more about Bletchley Park, the National Codes Centre, here.

There's a disturbing parallel that can be drawn between Bletchley Park and the recent saddening Ghurka episode; both were vital elements in the Allied victory in the second World War and both have been subsequently abandoned by the successive British governments and had to count on private contributors and volunteers to help them.