25th February 2019
Bletchley Park – Secret home of the WW2 Codebreakers
The last 6 years has seen Bletchley Park, the infamous top secret home of the Codebreakers, become one the UK’s top visitor attractions. ATS has been working with Bletchley from the early days, providing an on-site visitor led storytelling experience with multimedia guides, which every visitor receives as part of their ticket. Prior to the multiple exhibitions and former Codebreaker huts being brought to life with a rich blend of AV solutions, the multimedia guide provided essential interpretation for what was at the time a ‘story rich, artefact poor’ attraction.
Bletchley Park has transformed significantly over the last 6 years, with continued investment in the development of the visitor offer – warranting it’s impressive 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor.
Despite the major building developments and addition of layers of multi-sensory interpretation, the multimedia guide remains an essential element of the visitor experience. It is testimony to the original design of the multimedia guide in that over 6 years since it was produced, the creative approach and quality of production still feels fresh and contemporary. Originally the guide included an Adult and Family tour which helped visitors explore the site with a range of bite-size content including audio, video, animations and interactives.
‘This really brought home to us both the brilliance of the Codebreakers and the very difficult conditions for the thousands who worked there. The audio tour is excellent – almost essential to find your way around. A brilliant morning’ – TripAdvisor December 2018
The adult tour features an on-screen presenter with historian Jonathan Foyle, seamlessly blending archive interviews and images. With a TV mini-documentary feel, the story is told in a highly accessible way reaching a broad range of audiences. The Family tour was a unique challenge, how do you tell the complex and multifaceted story of the second world war that Bletchley sits within? The answer was to focus on the core purpose of Bletchley Park, which was Codebreaker. The Family tour is a highly entertaining and engaging journey, where younger visitors are set a number of challenges and quizzes throughout the tour, helping solve puzzles in order to become a real Codebreaker.
‘We weren’t sure what to expect but being “greeted” at the gate in security style, all added to the atmosphere and mystique of these buildings. I’d definitely suggest taking the free media guide which is a headset and small video monitor which allows you to play videos of the different areas and listen to the various descriptions of what went on’. – TripAdvisor, December 2018
An international audience has grown consistently over the last five years for the attraction, and ATS continues the close relationship and dedication to supporting our clients’ innovation with the addition of new features. New language versions of the tour have been produced enabling the ‘Codebreakers’ historic story to be shared with many more international visitors.
The multimedia guide plays an important part of wayfinding around the site. The user interface and digital map has under gone a redesign due to the site’s physical evolution and brand development.
Improving access for deaf, hard of hearing visitors, sees the addition of a British Sign Language (BSL) tour with subtitles. Blind and partially sighted visitors will also have an audio described tour produced in collaboration with the UK’s leading charity in this area, VocalEyes.
Rebecca Foy, Director of Public Engagement said: “ATS has been a valuable partner to us here at Bletchley Park. Our multimedia guide is an essential part of our visitor experience and ATS has kept pace with our growth and development, always ready to support our vision. We value this working partnership and as we look forward to future developments across our organisation and we know that ATS will be there ready to innovate and enrich our visitor experience”.
ATS have worked with many organisations to improve access and inclusion for their visitors, why not visit our Portfolio page to find out more here.