Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 17:43 UK

Code centre 'in financial crisis'

Colossus
Colossus was rebuilt over 14 years at Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park, the hub of Allies' code-breaking during WWII, is in a financial crisis, managers have said.

The Milton Keynes centre built the first modern computers, known as Colossus machines, to crack German codes in the 1940s.

But the Bletchley Park Trust said the centre had fallen into decay and with no on-going public funding could not afford repairs costing more than 1m.

The charity said an appeal has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It said the main Victorian mansion requires in the region of 1m for repairs to the roof and some of the code-breaking huts are in a desperate state of decay.

'First computer'

Known as the National Codes Centre, Bletchley Park re-built one of its Colossus machines, which was completed last year and put it to the test in a code-breaking challenge.

It took three hours longer than a modern computer to crack a message enciphered with a Lorenz S42 machine as used by the German high command in WWII.

But Colossus, which was destroyed on the order of Sir Winston Churchill after the war, is widely recognised as the first modern programmable computer.

Simon Greenish, director of Bletchley Park Trust, said: "The site is unique and one of the most important remaining from World War II.

"We have exciting plans to develop the park and save it for future generations. The more visitors we have helps us to realise these plans."


SEE ALSO
Honour for Colossus code-cracker
28 Jan 08 |  Technology
Colossus loses code-cracking race
16 Nov 07 |  Technology
UK computer history gets new home
11 Jul 07 |  Technology
Codebreaker machine gets new home
21 Aug 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific