QUEENS Park nursery, Burnley, could become a base for college courses in horticulture and care of small animals.

Burnley Council's executive committee will be asked to give 'in principle' approval at their meeting tonight.

The parks services unit has already had preliminary discussions with Myerscough Agricultural College, near Preston, and Burnley College.

The nursery has been identified as a suitable site because of its proximity to Burnley College and public transport facilities.

The executive will be told that the agricultural college wants to expand it's existing network of local training centres because travel to Myerscough is a deterrent to prospective students.

The college already has similar facilities with parks departments in Liverpool and Lancaster.

Courses would be delivered in partnership with Burnley College.

Students would use the classroom and IT facilities at the college and undertake practical work at the nursery.

Councillors will be told existing greenhouses and potting sheds are under-used, with scope to develop education/training purposes while continuing to use the site for growing the council's bedding plants.

Discussions are said to be at an early stage, but the approval of the executive is needed before any further progress can be made.