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Bletchley Park not under threat, says head

But the roof needs fixing.

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It shortened World War II by years and saved countless thousands of lives, but now the UK’s famous code-breaking centre of Bletchley Park has been gripped by a financial crisis of historic proportions. Or has it?

The Milton-Keynes-based computing museum says it faces a £1 million ($2 million) bill to repair the roof on its main Victorian mansion building, while some of the huts in which Axis codes were once deciphered by world famous mathematicians are said to be falling apart.

Its management – who point out that the centre consumes no public subsidy of any kind – are on the hunt for more funding, with the Heritage Lottery Fund in their sites. Otherwise, the museum depends on selling conference facilities, hosting weddings, and persuading the public to turn up and buy tickets for tours. The latter has been going well – visitor numbers are up 40 percent in two years.

So tight is money said to be that Bletchley Park’s public relations company even trumpets the fact that it carries out its services for nothing, an unheard of concession in the industry that normally prides itself on sky-high fees.

But is this really a case of ‘financial crisis, what financial crisis?’ Nissan hut blocks A and E were recently turned into a Science and Innovation centre, while block B – hut 8 in this part of the site once housed Alan Turing himself – was restored by the museum’s charity, the Bletchley Park Trust.

The roof might leak, but Bletchley Park as a whole appears to be in reasonable health. While headlines have led on the crisis, centre head Simon Greenish played down wilder predictions of closure.

“The press has been a little over dramatic. We are having to invest scarce resources into the ageing buildings,” he said in an email to Techworld. “Whilst this is clearly challenging for us, we are certainly not scaling back, in fact the opposite, we have higher visitor numbers than ever and are developing plans to ensure that the museum is developed into one of international status.”

An annual season ticket for Bletchley Park can be had for a very reasonable £10.



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Iain said: The main problem at Bletchley Park isnt lack of revenue prospects but rather that it is run by an unaccountable Trust and dogged by a succession of rather poor management This isnt some airfield in the back of beyond its a prime location next to Bletchley Station in a developing new City on the West Coast Mainline close to the M1 and central to the OxfordCambridge corridorAs well as an increasing gate revenues up 40 this year Bletchley Park also has a Weddings and Conferences business which charges premium prices for events in the Mansion and extensive parklandBletchley ParkThere is a commercial Innovation Centre which provides a home to 27 companies who all pay rent that goes to the Trust to maintain the site Real RampD once again goes on in Bletchley as witnessed by a recent visit by the Prime Minister to one of the tenants based in the wartime E-BlockBoth these income sources have flourished since they were contracted out and freed from the dead hand of



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