TECH
05/10/2011 05:16 BST | Updated 04/12/2011 05:12 GMT

WWII Code-Breaking Centre Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 million Boost

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- The Second World War code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park is to receive £4.6 million to help restore the site that played a pivotal role in winning the war.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is providing the grant to help the Bletchley Park Trust restore some of the park's most important buildings, including the wooden huts that were at the heart of code-breaking activity during the war.

Bletchley Park, a country estate before it was purchased in 1938 by the British government, housed as many as 10,000 people at its wartime peak.

The success of the park's code-breakers in breaking the German cypher systems Enigma and Lorenz are credited with shortening the war by two years.

The restoration project will also create a visitor centre, new exhibitions and interactive displays at the site, which fell into near-dereliction after the war but is now open to the public and visited by 130,000 people a year.

The funding is part of £6 million confirmed for three projects, with efforts to conserve bumblebees and a scheme to restore Newcastle's medieval Black Gate also receiving cash.

Actor and author Stephen Fry said the multimillion-pound grant to Bletchley Park would enable the trust to do justice to the site "in tribute to the tremendous intellectual feat of those who worked there".

"Not only did these people change the very course of history by helping to secure the Allied victory, thereby quietly and modestly providing us with the free world, they also gave birth to the information age which underpins the way we all live today."

Carole Souter, chief executive of the HLF, said: "The complex story of Bletchley Park revolves around a group of dedicated men and women who quietly worked away with no expectation of public recognition.

"Now, more than 60 years later, the trust will bring to life fascinating tales of the ground-breaking work that took place in this sprawling country estate. I can't think of a better use of Heritage Lottery Fund money than to support this project and, in doing so, honour the memory of all who were involved."