Software firm backs Bletchley Park campaignSep 25, 2009
The park’s trustees had appealed to ministers for funding to help the Second World War code-breaking museum, an appeal which was rejected.
Investment totalling £600,000 over three years from English Heritage and Milton Keynes Council has helped to fund the substantial infrastructure works needed. Now a major application has been lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Bletchley Park, the birthplace of the world’s first electronic computer, is asking for £250,000 a year to meet running costs after visitor numbers doubled in the last three years. Nearly 22,000 people signed an on-line petition calling for the government to put more money into the home of the wartime code breakers.
Nigel Moffatt, network manager of Milton Keynes-based MMCC Consultants, said: “It is unbelievable that this request for funding has been rejected. I would like to see all local companies, especially those involved in the IT industry, rallying together to support this unique site and put pressure on the government to review its decision.
“The work that these code breakers did is one of the main reasons we enjoy the quality of life we do in the UK today and future generations need to be reminded of it.
“How the government can just ignore 22,000 people and push Bletchley Park to one side is beyond me. It is hard to imagine a more deserving educational and heritage site than Bletchley Park.”
A petition earlier this year on the Downing Street website calling for government assistance for Bletchley Park failed. The petition was set up by an independent supporter and closed in May of this year with 21,920 signatures but the government decided not to add Bletchley Park to the list of museums and galleries it already supported.
Simon Greenish, director of the Bletchley Park Trust said: “The Trust is asking the government to provide £250,000 per year until the museum has been developed in order to support the growing workload associated with the ever-rising number of visitors.
“Public interest in Bletchley Park continues to rise dramatically and we have seen almost a doubling of visitor numbers over the past three years.
“The public have consistently and overwhelmingly provided us with the powerful conviction that they are fully behind our mission to transform Bletchley Park into the world-class educational and heritage site it deserves to be, reflecting the profound significance of its impact on the 20th century and the way we all live today.
“It is disappointing that the government feels unable to demonstrate its agreement with this.”