Following the recent advice from the UK Government, Bletchley Park, the former top-secret home of Britain’s World War Two Codebreakers, will reopen to visitors from Saturday 4 July.
To help keep visitors and team members safe, the usually busy museum and heritage attraction near Milton Keynes will reopen with reduced capacity. All visitors must pre-book a timed entry slot online. This includes Friends and existing Annual Season Pass holders. New one-way systems, hand sanitiser stations, and additional hygiene measures will be in place to help visitors explore the atmospheric wartime buildings, exhibitions and beautiful outdoor spaces in safety.
The iconic heritage site has now gone cashless, with card-only payments accepted throughout. Bletchley Park’s Hut 4 Café and Hut 1 Kiosk will be serving delicious ‘grab and go’ food and drink to enjoy in the beautiful, spacious grounds. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own picnics. Additional toilets will be available to help ensure social distancing.
Rebecca Foy, Director of Public Engagement at Bletchley Park Trust said: ‘We are delighted to be reopening Bletchley Park and are looking forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to explore this remarkable place. Our priority is to keep our visitors and team safe so for the first time, we are asking all visitors to pre-book a timed entry slot online. We have also introduced additional health and safety and hygiene measures across the site.’
Iain Standen, CEO of Bletchley Park Trust said: ‘Like many museums and heritage attractions, recent events have had a huge impact on Bletchley Park’s finances and future plans. We usually receive over 250,000 visitors a year and rely on visitor income for over 95% of our operating costs. Bletchley Park has been fortunate to receive emergency funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund which has been important in helping us reopen, as well as supporting an exciting new virtual Learning Programme. The following months will continue to be a challenging time, but we are delighted to be able to reopen safely and start welcoming visitors.’
The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50 million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: ‘Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Bletchley Park during this uncertain time.’
Like Bletchley Park, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.