THE former Wiltshire fire headquarters in a village near Devizes is under offer as the new Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service celebrates approaching its first year of existence.

Some staff from the old Potterne HQ moved to Salisbury as part of the changes which came into force last April after Wiltshire and Dorset brigades merged but the control centre remains in Potterne.

The Grade 11 Georgian country house with nearly two acres of grounds was put on the market with a guide price of £1,100,000 and the website of marketing agents Winkworth say it is now under offer.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has instructed Winkworths to offer for sale the Manor House at which was the former headquarters of the old Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.

"The sale is for the Manor House, an adjacent outbuilding and some land.

"Being retained by the Service, and therefore unaffected by the sale, are three separate buildings elsewhere on site – currently used as offices, storage and Fire Control – and car parking contained within a walled garden.

"Planning permission and listed building consent have been granted by Wiltshire Council to create a new hedgeline to separate the two parts of the site, and the creation of a new entrance to the car park area being retained by the Service.

"Staff previously accommodated within the Manor House have either moved to other offices on the Potterne site or been relocated to other Service premises, including the new headquarters in Salisbury."

The Manor House is being marketed as a potential family home with eight bathrooms but the agents say it could have a variety of other uses.

The merged fire service says it has much to celebrate as its April 1 birthday nears.

A spokesman said: "In that time, a new headquarters in Salisbury, within Wiltshire Council’s Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre, has been established, and new ways of working have been adopted to help staff manage the larger Service area."

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “The days are long gone when the fire and rescue service was only about responding with blue lights and sirens to emergencies; we now have such a key role to play in preventing fires and other incidents from happening in the first place, and really good results are already being achieved. We will now build on this good performance to ensure that we continue to make Wiltshire and Dorset better, healthier and safer places to live.”

Rebecca Knox, Chairman of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “A priority of combination was to create a more financially secure environment for providing our prevention, protection and emergency response services to the communities of Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole, Swindon and Wiltshire.

"Significant savings have been made, as we intended, but we have not held back on investment where it has been needed, as proven by the purchasing of new fire helmets and operational vehicles and an increase in our prevention activities. We are passionate about changing and saving lives and I am confident that we will continue to go from strength to strength in the coming years.”