Codebreaking Bletchley given help to fill in the cracks

£330,000 lifeline for Colossus' home

£330,000 lifeline for Colossus' home

World War II codebreaking centre Bletchley Park is to receive a £330,000 grant from English Heritage.

The cash from the conservation body will pay for urgent repairs to the roof of the Grade II listed mansion and prevent it falling into further disrepair.

Bletchley Park turns back time

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3. Video: The Colossus WWII codebreaking machine

Bletchley Park is famous for the role it played in decrypting messages enciphered by the Nazi Enigma machine - depicted in the Hollywood film of the same name - and also for the world's first codebreaking supercomputer Colossus, which cracked the codes used to encipher messages between Hitler's high command. Take a look at silicon.com's exclusive behind-the-scenes photo tour of Colossus.

The roof repairs are expected to be completed by the end of March 2009 and will stop leaking water from destroying the mansion's decorative plasterwork, painted ceilings, timber panelling and fine fireplaces.

Simon Greenish, director of Bletchley Park Trust, said in a statement that the donation would "ensure that the structure and fabric of the iconic Bletchley Park mansion are preserved".

"It marks the start of a regeneration initiative on behalf of the Bletchley Park Trust to transform Bletchley Park into a world-class heritage and education centre," he said.

"This is sacred ground. If this isn't worth preserving, what is?".

Bletchley Park was in a state of neglect when the trust took it over in 1992. Since then, the Bletchley Park Trust has raised £5m to develop and restore parts of the site.

Earlier this year a stark warning letter from almost 100 academics was published in a national newspaper calling for action to save the mansion from the "ravages of age".