I’ve blogged a couple of times about Bletchley Park
It’s no secret in the UK that funding for the site is hard to come by
For some reason it’s not eligible for lottery funding or any of the government funding that goes into museums and galleries so relies on admissions fees and donations(IBM and PGP were some of the big names who recently donated)
So a while back I saw a petition on the governments e-petitions site
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to save Bletchley Park.”
Details of Petition:
“As has been reported elsewhere, Bletchley Park “have two to three more years of survival”. The Bletchley Park Trust receives no external funding. It has been deemed ineligible for funding by the National Lottery, and turned down by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Please do not allow this crucial piece of both British and World culture to disappear. If ever an example were needed of Britain leading the world, this surely would be it. To allow it to fall into the hands of developers would be simply unconscionable.”
You can see the full petition here: (do a search for “Andy Parkes” :-) )
I’ll be honest I’d forgotten I’d signed up for this (the deadline was in May) but I got an email today to let me know that the government had responded
Thank you for your e-petition.
The Government agrees that the buildings on the Bletchley Park site are of significant historic importance and, although recognising the excellent work being carried out there, at present it has no plans, nor the resources, to extend its sponsorship of museums and galleries beyond the present number.
A number of things are being done to help Bletchley Park.
English Heritage, Milton Keynes Council and English Partnerships have worked jointly with the Trust that runs the Park to prepare a Conservation Management Plan for the site. English Partnerships has acquired some parts of the site and will ensure that any development of these areas is planned and delivered in a way that reflects the important historical nature of the Park. English Partnerships has also invested in the core site and contributed funds towards an emergency repair programme on Block D, the largest derelict wartime building in Britain, and is planning to undertake further substantial works to sensitively refurbish this important listed building.
The Heritage Lottery Fund’s regional development team, along with the DCMS sponsored Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in the South East have been in regular contact with the Bletchley Park Trust, offering advice and guidance on how best to put together a robust application for funding. In addition, the Trust has now made a further application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In November 2008 English Heritage announced the award of a grant of £330,000 to Bletchley Park to cover urgently needed repairs to the roof, and in March of this year it was announced that Milton Keynes Council, in partnership with English Heritage, will provide a further £600,000 for critical restoration work.
I’m not sure if this good or bad??
As far as I can see the government recognises it’s an important part of British heritage but don’t want to specifically put any money into it. Most of the funding has become the responsibility of Milton Keynes council (if it’s a site of national importance shouldn’t we all be paying for it?) and that everyone else will “advise” on how to apply for more funding!
If you interpret this differently to me please do comment below
It really would be a massive shame if the site disappeared. The grounds are amazing and the story of the place is fantastic, especially if you’re a geek –they have a working version of the worlds first programmable computer!!
If your like to spare a few pounds you can donate from the home page www.bletchleypark.org.uk