Bletchley Park's Victorian mansion, which became the centre for the Government Code and Cypher School

National Museum of Computing involved in setting up cyber security college

Nicola Sullivan, 30.11.2016
Project will involve renovation of derelict buildings at Bletchley Park
The National Museum of Computing, located at Bletchley Park, is one of five organisations that will work together to create a new cyber security college.

The National College of Cyber Security, which will be located in two unused buildings at the Bletchley Park site, will be a free-to-attend boarding school to teach cyber security skills to students aged between 16 and 19.  

However, the Bletchley Park Trust, which operates the visitor centre, runs exhibitions and provides public access to many of the code breaking huts and blocks, has indicated that it won’t have any involvement with the project.

A spokeswoman from the trust said the buildings, known as the Canteen and Block G, are part of the WW2 site but are not managed by the trust, which operates the visitor centre, runs exhibitions and provides public access to the code breaking huts and blocks.

“In the current climate, initiatives of this kind, that aim to promote and develop skills in cyber security, are to be welcomed,” said the spokeswoman. 

“However, we cannot commit to being involved in this particular project. Our current efforts are focused on the continuing transformation of Bletchley Park as a heritage attraction and the eventual development of all the historic buildings belonging to the trust."

In 2014 there were reports of a dispute between the National Museum of Computing and the Bletchley Park Trust, which resulted in the two sites operating separately despite their shared heritage.

Opening in 2018, the college will be delivered by Qufaro – a body that includes representatives from the Cyber Security Challenge UK; the National Museum of Computing; the Bletchley Park Science and Innovation Centre; the Institute of Information Security Professionals; BT Security; and Raytheon.

A £5m restoration project, funded by the Bletchley Park Science and Innovation Centre, is already underway to convert Block G.   

Qufaro will also oversee a £50m cyber investment fund, which will be launched in 2017 to support new cyber security businesses.

Margaret Sale, the non executive director of Qufaro and founding member of both the Bletchley Park Trust and the National Museum of Computing said the venture provided a “unique opportunity to reactivate” the site as a “major active contributor” to the country’s national security.

“Through initiatives such as the National College and cyber investment fund we can effectively combine the principles of heritage, education and innovation for which everything on this site stands.”

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