One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Codebreaking Centre Gets £4.6m
Milton Keynes' famous Bletchley Park codebreaking centre - where teams cracked German messages and helped shorten World War Two - has been given a £4.6m lottery grant.
The money is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will be used to restore some of Bletchley Park's iconic codebreaking huts where teams worked to decipher German messages. It will also go towards creating a "world-class visitor centre" and exhibition, although £1.7m still needs to be raised.
The work of Bletchley Park was depicted in the 2001 Kate Winslet film 'Enigma'.
Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, 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 sixty years later, the Trust will bring to life fascinating tales of the ground-breaking work that took place in this sprawling country estate. I cannot think of a better use of Heritage Lottery Fund money than to support this project and, in so doing, honour the memory of all who were involved.”
The actor and author Stephen Fry welcomed the announcement saying "Today marks a monumental triumph for the Bletchley Park Trust.
"This investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund will finally enable the Trust to do justice to this amazing place in tribute to the tremendous intellectual feat of those who worked there.
"Not only did these people alter 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.
"The Heritage Lottery Fund has ensured that recognition for these extraordinary accomplishments is finally in sight. Now we must all see that the Trust is given every support it needs in order to raise the match funding required to make this project a wonderful reality".
The Bletchley Park Trust has launched a campaign to raise the match funding needed.
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