THE new £2.3m community athletics stadium at Witton Park could host more high-profile sports events, it has emerged.

Blackburn Harriers bosses hope the revamped track will be chosen for major competitions in the future.

The news comes as the final stage of the upgrade moved a step closer with plans for new state-of-the-art floodlighting recommended for approval by councillors on Thursday.

Blackburn with Darwen Council planning committee will consider the application to take down the existing seven 25-metre columns and replace them with three 25 metre and two 20 metre floodlights and standalone lamps on the roof of the new stadium building.

They will use the latest LED technology and will be ‘flexible as they illuminate sections of the track if required and can be dimmed to any lighting level’.

Officials have recommended approval despite an objection from nearby resident Kevin Smith, of Preston Old Road.

The arena — which includes an indoor 60m warm-up and training track with six lanes, new changing facilities, covered outdoor spectator terracing and a club room — opened last month.

The stadium opened two years after the London 2012 Olympics, where the club’s athletes enjoyed success.

Samantha Murray from Clitheroe secured a silver medal for modern pentathlon, Burnley’s Sophie Hitchon broke the British record to qualify for the hammer final, and Chorley’s Holly Bleasdale came sixth in the pole vault.

Harriers secretary George Davies yesterday revealed the club’s hopes for the future.

Decisions on holding major events are taken by the various national athletics bodies.

Mr Davies said: “With the opening of our new state-of-the-art stadium, we hope that it may be chosen for more and higher profile athletics events.”

It the past year Witton Park has hosted several major cross-country events, including the English championships, while the stadium was being rebuilt.

In previous years the old track has hosted Northern League and schools competitions, though the Lancashire athletics champion- ships are normally held in Blackpool.