Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Sells Historic HQ to University of Edinburgh

January, 2017 - Edinburgh, England

The Edinburgh office of UK law firm, Shoosmiths, has advised the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) on the sale of their former headquarters to the University of Edinburgh in a multi-million pound deal.

The former headquarters, based at Lauriston Place in Edinburgh 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.

The acquisition of the important heritage site will extend further the College of Art’s presence in the locality which extends back over a century.

The Edinburgh Museum of Fire, currently located at Lauriston, will subsequently move to a new purpose-built location within the City of Edinburgh. The SFRS is funding the restoration and curation of the artefacts in preparation for the move to their new home.

Shoosmiths real estate partner, Stephen Dougherty and senior associate Laura Bloxham advised the SFRS on the deal.

Russell Munn, estates and valuation surveyor at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Shoosmiths has provided a first class service in terms of providing real estate legal advice throughout this transaction.

‘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.’

Shoosmiths’ Stephen Dougherty said: ‘It has been a pleasure to advise the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on the sale of such an iconic building to a buyer who will sympathetically restore it and put it to great use. The real estate team at Shoosmiths continues to go from strength to strength, advising on key property projects across Scotland and the rest of the UK.’

Shoosmiths was instructed by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service after a competitive tender process in 2015 and in addition to advising on real estate transactions such as this, the firm is also undertaking a huge project undertaking the registration of around 400 titles for the SFRS as a result of the statutory obligation imposed by the Scottish Government (agreed with the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland), to perfect title to properties held by governmental organisations by 2019.

The firm has continued to invest and expand its real estate offering in Edinburgh. Their local knowledge and sector expertise make them a go to choice for real estate advice in the region.

Shoosmiths' clients include commercial and residential developers, investors, retail and leisure operators, social housing bodies, major corporate occupiers, banks and other funders and a range of public sector bodies.