IT'S been the home of Worcester's firefighters for the last seven decades - but now the 'for sale' signs have finally gone up.

Halls Commercial is now actively marketing the Hereford and Worcester Fire Service HQ, in Copenhagen Street, in the hope of a multi-million pound sale.

Back in September last year the fire service secured permission to create a new headquarters at Great Western Business Park, in Tolladine.

Work is well underway on the site, with the expectation staff will be ready to move in before the end of the year.

The three-storey Copenhagen Street building dates back to 1941, created by architect Percy Thomas, who designed several buildings across Worcester in the mid-20th century.

The advert by Halls Commercial says it is "recognised by Worcester City Council as being particularly important as part of the regeneration of the city centre".

It also cites potential developments the council would be prepared to back including a hotel, leisure use like a shopping centre, office space or homes.

The land spans 27,000 sq ft, making it one of the largest plots to come up for sale in the city for some years.

Members of the fire authority, who approved the sale last year, say they expect a lot of interest.

Councillor Tony Miller, a Conservative, said: "Times are changing and the fire service is going through an evolution at the moment.

"We've got less fires these days and that's due to the tremendous work the fire service has done over the last 25 years.

"We are moving to a state-of-the-art HQ and we all hope the current site gets a good price.

"I'd like to see it used for housing, we need more of that in the city."

Councillor Richard Udall, who leads the Labour group on the fire authority, said: "We will be looking for a valuable capital receipt for this site that we can reinvest in front line services.

"It's a part of the city centre which does need regeneration, there's a great opportunity here as it's a building of some importance which a lot of tourists pass."

The new station will have 38 car parking spaces for staff and four for visitors, storage areas, offices, lecture facilities and will incorporate training facilities with provision for the Young Firefighters Association.

The construction work is being handled by St Modwen.