A college built in the shape of a giant eye has been proposed for Teesside.

Stockton Riverside College wants to site the £4.1m oval-shaped building in front of its existing college at Teesside Business Park, in Thornaby.

A planning application has been submitted to Stockton Borough Council, but the college has not yet secured the Government money needed for the development.

The building, in Princeton Drive, near Durham University's Stockton Queen's Campus, would mainly be used to train students in vocational skills.

It is hoped the next generation of electricians, painters and decorators, plumbers and builders would be trained at the centre.

There would also be 76 car parking spaces provided on the site, which it is hoped will create 25 full-time and ten part-time jobs.

Christine Morgan, marketing manager at Stockton Riverside College, said that the building was designed by Newcastle architects Waring and Netts to complement the existing structure.

The workshop-style accommodation for engineering, construction and design programmes would help the college meet the Government's Skills Agenda and employer demand.

The project would cost about £4.1m and the college is working with the Learning and Skills Council finding the money from Government and other sources.

College principal Sujinder Sangha said: "Our new building project offers us the opportunity to consolidate our practically-based provision closer to the main campus and to house this in the type of world-class facilities now demanded by the learners and employers across Tees Valley."

The first phase of the college's building programme was completed in January 2003 when a new £16m college building was opened to 7,000 students. It replaced the Stockton and Billingham College, which had operated on a split site since the 1950s.

That building has a studio theatre, 47 seminar rooms, an arts department, refectory and a hall which houses 300 computers and has an adjoining car park for 374 vehicles. A total of 249 full-time and 149 part-time staff are employed there.

The proposals will be discussed by the planning committee in the coming months.