THE Capital's historic Museum of Fire is to be sold to Edinburgh University to become part of an arts hub.
Campaigners had been fighting to save the museum at the former Central Fire Station in Lauriston Place - the last example of a Victorian fire station in the UK - and had pleaded for the sell-off to be delayed so they could establish a trust to take it over.
But today the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) announced the university was the preferred bidder for the building and was expected to take possession at the beginning of next year.
The SFRS said: "The building will undergo a sympathetic refurbishment, sensitive to its past use and heritage, before forming part of the Edinburgh College of Art’s ambitious plans to transform the area into a hub for arts and culture."
It said the the museum would move to a new purpose-built location within the city.
Stuart Bennett, acting principal of Edinburgh College of Art, said: “We are very pleased to have been selected as the preferred bidder and look forward to breathing new life into this iconic building. We will now begin the process of planning for a sympathetic refurbishment that can fulfil its potential as part of a world class college of art, of which Edinburgh can be proud."
Sarah O’Donnell, director of finance and contractual services for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are delighted that this important building will transfer to the care of the University of Edinburgh. They share our understanding of the building’s past and will ensure it remains an important part of Edinburgh’s heritage long into the future."