BURTON Manor could become an educational establishment again if negotiations to sell it to the University of Chester are successful.

Proposed plans have already been drawn up, with the university planning to invest a substantial sum to upgrade the former adult education centre.

It is understood the upgrades would include refurbishing two accommodation blocks and the lecture rooms as well as putting in a lift for the disabled.

The Grade I-listed property could then be used once again as an educational resource for the public.

The manor is in the village of Neston, seven miles away from the main university campus.

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller is keen to see the plans go ahead.

He said: “I hope it happens because I want to see it as a publicly available resource.

“If it was to be used as a private club or something like that, then the ordinary folk would not benefit from it.”

Mr Miller said the university has been looking for suitable places to run some of its specialist courses for some time.

“I was quite keen that they should look at this as a suitable place, both to help the local university and to ensure that the building does retain its use as a public property.”

Burton Manor was opened as an adult education college in 1948. By 2008 it was supported solely by Liverpool Council, who made a loss of £284,000 in 2009-2010 prompting the decision to close the centre in March 2011.

The University of Chester already has a presence at Burton Manor. It runs business units as part of ‘the Atelier Project’ which are rented to small craft businesses at low rates.

A spokesperson for the University of Chester said: “Since the decision to close Burton Manor College as a whole was announced, the university has been in discussion with colleagues from Liverpool City Council as to their plans for the future of the site.

“Complexities surrounding the ownership of the site and legal conditions affecting any sale have delayed the progress with negotiations but we remain committed to securing the best possible outcome for the university, businesses within the Atelier and local residents.”