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Parliamentary group forms for Bletchley Park

Rebecca Thomson

An All Party Parliamentary Group on Bletchley Park has been set up to help promote the interests of the site in Parliament.

Bletchley Park, the home of the UK's codebreaking activities during the Second World War, says it is in need of further funding, and is seeking £250,000 of operational funding a year for five years.

And within the next 18 months, Bletchley Park says it needs to find £1m in matched funding for the money it received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HFL).

If it achieves this, the site will receive a further £4.1m of funding from HFL. But even this will not be sufficient; according to Bletchley Park, it needs another £6m on top of that to rescue it from dilapidation.

Many of the buildings on the historical site are in need of repair, with some quite dilapidated. This is despite the crucial role it played in the Second World War and in furthering UK computer science.

So far no big IT companies have pledged to help the ailing site. Campaigner Sue Black, head of the computer science department at the University of Westminster, said the goodwill towards the campaign is evident and believed the new parliamentary group, set up by Labour MP Tom Watson, will help.

"Anything that gets people talking to each other about Bletchley Park, especially MPs, is good," she said.

The campaign group recently raised £2,500 on a Just Giving page after Twitter fans encouraged them to set one up. The money was used to publish a paper, "Can Twitter Save Bletchley Park?", which looked at the role the website has played in increasing awareness of the park's problems.

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