Bletchley Park could become a cyber security training centre

Bletchley Park could soon be home to a new digital technology institute after plans to transform the site's derelict Block D into a cyber security training centre were announced.

Once the top secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers, Bletchley Park is now a vibrant heritage tourist attraction. During WW2, it housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) which famously cracked the German Enigma cipher.

Now, a bid for £18 million of government funding has been submitted by Milton Keynes College and businesses such as Microsoft, KMPG and Volkswagen Financial Services.

A representative from Microsoft UK said: “Bletchley Park is synonymous with the security of this nation and so I cannot think of a more appropriate place to train the next generation of cyber security experts that will protect the UK from the growing threat of cyber attacks.

“Digital skills are becoming increasingly vital to the success of the UK economy and we share Milton Keynes College’s ambition to help students develop the skills and practical expertise that employers want and need – both now and in the future.”

Three-quarters of British Chambers of Commerce members say they lack the staff with the requisite training and ability to meet their digital needs.

Dr Julie Mills, principal and chief executive of Milton Keynes College, believes the centre would make a significant contribution to meeting the gap in digital skills which “needs to be addressed for the sake of the country’s economic future”.

If government funding is approved, it is hoped the first students will enrol at the institute in September 2021.