PLANS have been put in place to push the vision of Burnley as a ‘university town’ following a multimillion-pound expansion.

Business leaders in the town want to appoint a new media team to shout about a masterplan, centred around the development of the University of Central Lancashire's Burnley campus.

The university revealed it would aim to be teaching around 4,000 students by 2025 earlier this year.

Working with Burnley Council, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and the Burnley Bondholders, the group has issued a tender for a new PR team.

Julie Cooper, Burnley and Padiham's MP, said: "I am delighted that UCLan has made the decision for a significant expansion in Burnley.

"As the shadow health minister I am particularly excited about the extended role that the university will play in the training of staff for the NHS and also for social care.

"There is a chronic shortage of staff in both these sectors and what better way to address the problems associated with recruitment than to train our own health professionals.

"I look forward to seeing these exciting plans come to fruition."

Under the proposals, UCLan will use the former University Technical College

Lancashire’s Victoria Mill building in Trafalgar Street.

The scheme will see UCLan working in collaboration with Burnley Council, the East

Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, and the Burnley Bondholders.

New subject areas being taught in the town will be business and professional disciplines, health and social care and digital and technical courses.

The classes will be distributed across the university’s existing Burnley Campus, Burnley General Hospital and the newly-acquired Victoria Mill.

Leader of Burnley Council, Cllr Mark Townsend said: "We’re delighted that the university has made a long-term commitment to grow in Burnley.

"We’re looking forward to working with the university as we truly become a university town.

"It’s such an important icon for our town, to raise the aspirations of our young people, and to provide the higher level skills that will drive our local economy to even greater things.

"I am also extremely pleased that UCLan has, subject to contract, secured Victoria Mill as their presence will help to revitalise that part of the Weavers’ Triangle."

The number of students would grow from under 400 to 2,000 by 2021 and then to 4,000 by 2025.

The university opened an £11million campus in Princess Way, Burnley, in 2009 and offers undergraduate courses in sports, social care and business management.

Pro-chancellor and chairman of the university board, David Taylor, said: "This investment in Burnley is an exciting development which demonstrates our commitment as a university to Burnley and Pennine Lancashire and to helping to be a force for economic growth and social mobility across the county and beyond."

The provost of UCLan’s Burnley campus, Dr Ebrahim Adia, told the Lancashire Telegraph last year the masterplan would ensure 'a thriving town centre with a university at its heart'.

The tender document is available to view on the Burnley Council website and closing date for applications is Friday April 6.