PLANS are underway for a Bury primary schools trust to open a new training centre and conference facility.

This week Vision Multi Academy Trust signed a lease for Bury Council's former Children's Services building in Higher Lane, Whitefield.

The Trust currently runs three schools in the borough, including the adjoining Higher Lane Primary School, as well as East Ward and Sunny Bank primary schools.

A section of the newly acquired property will be used as the trust's head offices.

However, the trust says plans are also afoot to create a self-contained conference and training facility at the site.

This will boast free parking and will be available for businesses and organisations to hire out.

Carol McLachlan, the trust's CEO, said: "It's great news that we have secured these premises."

"We know there is a demand for a quality training venue/conference facility, with adequate parking, both in Bury and in our neighbouring boroughs," she added.

Vision Multi Academy Trust is also in talks with other interested parties who are looking to occupy a wing of the building.

It is hoped that cash generated from these ventures will help bolster the future of the trust's schools.

Ms McLachlan continued: "It's a great position for our Trust to be in because we can invest money from income generation into our schools to support them with teaching and learning.

"As we look to grow our family of schools, this new venture will certainly enhance our offer to schools considering joining us."