Scottish Fire Service College

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The Scottish Fire Service College, later known as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service College Gullane (SFRS College Gullane), was a training facility located in East Lothian that operated from 1954 to 2015. A former hotel building, it was used for the initial training for new recruits from across Scotland and also for other specialist training. The facility at Gullane closed in 2015, shortly after the eight separate Scottish fire services merged in April 2013 to form the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), and a new national specialist training centre opened in Cambuslang.


A railway hotel was built near to Gullane railway station and formally opened as the Marine Hotel on 28 June 1900.[1][2] At the start of the Second World War the building was requisitioned and was used for training Polish soldiers.[3] After the war it opened again as a hotel, but closed in 1951.[4] In 1953 the building was sold to the Scottish Office, to provide a new location for The Scottish Fire Service Training Schools that had been based in Moredun, Paisley and in Whitburn, West Lothian.[4]

The Scottish Fire Service Training School at Gullane was officially opened on 1 April 1954.[4] The size of the facility grew over the years, eventually occupying seven buildings.[5] In 2002 it was renamed the Scottish Fire Service College.

The Howat review, completed in 2006, looked at government spending and recommended the college should close and merge with the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, Fife.[6] In 2008 the Scottish Government announced that these recommendations had been rejected.[7] With the merger of all Scotland's Fire Services in April 2013, it was renamed "Scottish Fire and Rescue Service College Gullane". In September 2013, the board of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service decided to centralise their specialist training at their new facility in Cambuslang and that the college at Gullane would close.[8] The college closed on 31 March 2015.[9][10]


Over a sixty years period trained more than one thousand firefighters each year.[9] There were 38 members of staff, who were either employees of the Scottish Government, or on 2-year secondments from the fire services.[citation needed]

The college ran a range of courses:

Housing development[edit]

In September 2015 the SFRS put in an application for a housing development to be built on the site.[12] In April 2016, permission in principle was granted to develop 125 houses on the site.[13]

Further reading[edit]

  • Robinson, Beryl (2005). From golfers to firefighters: ... where hope is unbroken. Gullane and Dirleton History Society. ISBN 1870479106. 


  1. ^ "A Daily Commute". 15 May 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Gullane, Main Street, Marine Hotel". Canmore. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Polish women soldiers in Gullane". The History Company. 23 October 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "March 13th 2015 Marked The End Of An Era At SFRS Training Centre In Gullane". Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Cameron, Courtney (3 December 2015). "100 houses to be built on Gullane fire college site". East Lothian News. 
  6. ^ "Efficiency drive sparks fears over fire centre's future". The Scotsman. 19 June 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Fire college saved as minister pours cold water over merger". The Scotsman. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "Gullane fire college closure is ‘unacceptable’". Edinburgh Evening News. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Swanson, Ian (14 March 2015). "Firefighters mark end of an era at Gullane college". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  10. ^ "Closure ceremony at Scottish Fire and Rescue Training College (video)". East Lothian News. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "SQA’s SCQF Credit Rating Service: Individual Units: Firefighter Foundation Programme" (PDF). Scottish Qualifications Authority. January 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Ritchie, Cameron (26 March 2016). "Plans for 100-plus houses in village outlined in public exhibition". East Lothian Courier. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Ritchie, Cameron (26 November 2016). "Plans for homes at former Gullane fire college to be revealed". East Lothian Courier. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 

External links[edit]