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London Fire Brigade Museum escapes the axe

London SE1 website team

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) has voted unanimously to keep the London Fire Brigade Museum in Southwark Bridge Road open to the public.

Under the plans agreed by Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party members of LFEPA, the museum will remain open until a permanent home is found for the collection or until the brigade's Southwark training centre is sold to developers.

The museum's running costs of approximately 80,000 will be met this year by Babcock who recently took over firefighter training in a controversial private finance initiative deal.

"I think we can obtain a satisfactory conclusion that will preserve the collection for the future," said Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of LFEPA's Liberal Democrat group.

Possible future homes for the collection include the cultural space in the One Tower Bridge development. A move to Potters Fields would be highly appropriate given that it was the Great Fire of Tooley Street in 1861 which led to the formation of the modern fire brigade.

The authority's previous chairman, Brian Coleman, who lost his London Assembly seat last month, had made the closure of the museum a personal mission.

Four years ago he offended many firefighters when he said of the museum that "when you've seen one brass helmet you have seen them all".

• The Living Memory heritage project is inviting SE1 locals to visit the museum next week.

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