Plans for a 200-metre high vertical theme park have been announced for Birmingham's Eastside district.

The £95 million VTP200 would include a range of thrilling rides, including Flight Trainer, Giant Drop and Seesaw, and four extreme activities - Walk of Fear, Sky Jump, Bungee Jump and Climb To The Top.

The 656 ft structure is the latest in a series of schemes which have been planned for a vacant area of Eastside overlooking the proposed City Park. The tower is based on the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, USA, and the Macau Tower, in China.

The project is being driven by Richard Pawley, who previously designed rides at Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, and was the man behind previous attempts to create high profile schemes in Eastside, such as The Birmingham Gate and The Pinnacle.

Detailed proposals for the UK's first VerTiPlex will be announced today by Warwickshire-based Pettifer Estates.

The leisure and observation tower, which has been designed by international architects RTKL, will be open in 2010 if it is backed by city council planners.

Running up the length of the structure will be external glass lifts which will transport people from a gold base, with its hotel, cafe bars and restaurants.

A series of observation decks will offer people breathtaking 360 degree views across the city and surrounding region up to a distance of more than 33 miles.

For those not seeking an adrenaline-fuelled ride, a leisurely journey to a height of 190 metres can be enjoyed in the slow-revolving glass Gyro Tower. Those with a head for heights can then complete the 10 metre climb to the very top.

Mr Pawley, who heads up the operational team for VTP200, said: "Of all the developments I've been involved with, this is the most exciting and pioneering innovation of all.

"As an adopted Brummie, I'm proud that Birmingham will be the first city in the world to bring the VerTiPlex concept to life."

It is hoped by developers that the structure will attract more than one million visitors in its first year. Construction of the VTP200 could create almost 700 jobs, more than 500 in Birmingham.

Officials behind the scheme also claim around 650 full time jobs could be created - five per cent of the 12,000 target for Eastside.

The UK's highest observation tower could also help generate more than £25 million million through tourism.

The Stratosphere in Las Vegas
The Stratosphere in Las Vegas

City council leIader Mike Whitby (Con Harborne) said: "This bold and innovative building captures the vitality of Birmingham. It is a development which will boost our image as a global city, being an exciting addition to the city skyline."

The plans and scale model of the building will be on public show at Millennium Point for a week from Saturday.

Project director Charles Pettifer, of Pettifer Estates, said: "The combination of static and moving observation decks, family rides and attractions and high adrenaline thrills makes VTP200 a truly unique attraction. It will constantly be changing on the Birmingham skyline."

Recent plans for an iconic structure in Eastside have included:

* 2001/2002 The Needle: £18 million landmark hi-tech building at Birmingham's Eastside announced as part of a major package of developments outlined for the failed Capital of Culture bid. A spokesman for the Birmingham bid said the impact of The Needle would match the acclaim given to the Eiffel Tower at the Paris World Fair of 1889.

* October 2002 The Birmingham Wheel: Plans were announced for a multi-million pound ferris wheel which would have been the highest tourist attraction of its kind in the world. Dubbed the Birmingham Wheel, it would have dominated the city skyline - standing 145 metres (476 ft) tall - and developers claimed it would have been bigger and better than the London Eye.

* October 2003 The Birmingham Gate: Following on from the idea of the wheel, plans for the The Birmingham Gate were announced a year later.

It would have consisted of rotating pods attached to a circular shell, partly running underground. Developers behind the plan first pointed to the success of the Centenary Square wheel as a reason to back the scheme. A few months later they ditched the plan after claiming that the temporary structure had taken away some of the "magic" from the idea.

* March 2006: The Birmingham Pinnacle: A new 574-ft £60 million tourist attraction, The Birmingham Pinnacle, or The Pin for short, was announced for the city. Described as Birmingham's first vertical theme park - housing a number of rides as well as a restaurant - The Pin is remarkably similar to the VTP200