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Government reveals £480,000 grant to Bletchley Park and seeks next generation code breakers

18 Oct 2012
The main house at Bletchley Park

The government has revealed it gave a donation of £480,000 to Bletchley Park to help it raise the £2.4 million in funding it needed to unlock a further £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Bletchley Park announced it had achieved the necessary funding to secure the lottery grant earlier this year, but it was only confirmed on Thursday that the final chunk was given by government.

This will allow the Bletchley Park Trust to commence restoration of the code-breaking huts and create a visitor centre and educational exhibitions to promote the role of the Park in the Second World War and British history.

"The Bletchley Park Trust is enormously grateful to the FCO for the contribution," commentated chief executive Iain Standen.

The funding was announced by foreign secretary William Hague on Thursday at a speech given at the historic site.

Hague also announced the creation of a new apprenticeship scheme designed to find and train the next generation of code breakers for the UK's GCHQ.

"Bletchley Park was the scene of one of the finest achievements in our nation's history. Without the code-breaking geniuses of Bletchley Park our country would have been at a devastating disadvantage during the war," said Hague.

"Young people are the key to our country's future success, just as they were during the war. It will be the young innovators of this generation who will help keep our country safe in years to come against threats which are every bit as serious as some of those confronted in the war."

The SIA Apprenticeship scheme aims to recruit 100 people and is open to any 18-year-old with "three good A-levels," or a vocational qualification in science, technology or engineering.

Successful applicants will spend two years learning about communications, have university-level training in security and engineering and be put on regular work placements.

Upon graduating apprentices will be allocated roles within the GCHQ.

Bletchley Park was the base of UK code breakers during the Second World War, including famous Enigma code breaker Alan Turing.

Hague also reiterated UK spy agency GCHQ director Iain Lobban's praise of Turing, and promised the scheme would preserve Bletchley Park's legacy.

"We are determined to preserve this legacy and build on it for the future. In the year in which we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, one of the finest mathematical minds our country has ever known and a leading light at Bletchley," added Hague.

"We want to step up our efforts to find the most talented people to help sustain and secure the UK's code-breaking and cyber expertise for the future," said Hague.

The news follows numerous warnings from the security industry that the threat landscape is evolving. Most recently the GCHQ issued its own set of cyber best practice guidelines for businesses, aiming to help them defend their systems against hackers.

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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