WORCESTER'S iconic fire station is finally going onto the market - amid hopes it could be sold for a massive sum to create a new chapter in the city's history.

The existing site in Copenhagen Street is due to be vacated in 2015 once a new state-of-the-art facility is built at the Great Western Business Park.

The historic site has served the fire service for more than 70 years, and is located in a superb spot opposite Worcester College of Technology.

Members of the fire authority have agreed that it can be sold, with a marketing campaign set to launch to highlight the building's potential.

Hopes are high that it can deliver a huge, seven-figure sum for the cash-strapped fire service and be put to good use by new owners.

It sits a few feet from the Guildhall, Worcester's High Street and is just yards from the riverside.

During a meeting of the fire authority's policy and resources committee, councillors said selling it to the right bidder is vital.

Councillor Derek Prodger, the chairman, said: "From a city council perspective there's a plan to regenerate the centre of Worcester.

"For obvious reasons the city would very much like to be involved in the sale of this site.

"We need to make sure we all work together for the benefit of the whole city on this."

Other members urged senior officers to take it slow, saying the property market could be much stronger in future years.

Councillor Philip Gretton said: "I just hope we don't sacrifice a better capital receipt because we need this money now.

"We need to make sure, if need be that we are prepared to wait even if it takes a year."

Treasurer Martin Reohorn said it could take "18 months" or longer if the right offer does not come along immediately.

Chief fire officer Mark Yates said: "We'll be seeking the best deal we can get for the public."

The committee voted to authorise a sale, with the next stage getting an independent valuation from an agent.

A marketing campaign would then launch aimed at enticing interest from developers.

The new base, at the Great Western Business Park off Tolladine Road, will contain top class facilities in a 20,000 sq ft facility.

It will have storage areas, offices, lecture space and even training rooms for the Young Firefighters Association to encourage careers on the frontline.