AN ambitious new £11 million technical skills college could be built at Stansted Airport.

In conjunction with Harlow College, the airport has submitted a planning application for the development, which will be the first of its kind at any airport in the UK.

The two-storey campus, which could train up to 500 young people a year, will be located on airport land, close to the long stay car park.

It is hoped that the college will provide a steam of students looking for careers in aviation after finishing their studies.

Andrew Cowan, Stansted Airport's CEO, said: "Securing, developing and retaining the right talent and skills at a growing airport like Stansted is critical to our business, our 200 on-site business partners and the long term prosperity of our region.

" If the application is successful we will all play our part in making this facility a beacon of skills and talent in the East of England."

Funding for the college will come from three £3.5 million grants from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Local Growth Fund and Essex County Council.

David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said: "We’re dedicated to tackling the skills shortage in Essex to ensure that businesses have access to the right people, and residents are properly equipped to take advantage of the opportunities our growing economy will bring.

“We’ve pledged to double the county’s economy to £60 billion a year by 2025, so our £3.5m grant towards the new technical skills college will go a long way to helping that vision become a reality.”