George Osborne is due to visit Inverness next week to unveil the long-awaited city deal, the Press and Journal has learned.
The chancellor did not mention an agreement in his speech to MPs yesterday – despite speculation it was to be announced.
But the Budget document itself confirmed “good progress” had been made.
It also said the UK Government would work with the Scottish Government and local partners towards a deal for Edinburgh and south-east Scotland.
Earlier this year, a £250million Aberdeen City Region Deal was signed – jointly funded by the Scottish and UK governments.
The Budget allocates £225million for city deals between 2016-17 and 2019-20.
But there is no detail on how much will go to each project in the pipeline.
Moreover, the numbers include top-up money previously committed by the chancellor, so do not represent the whole pot.
At the start of the week, Scottish Secretary David Mundell dropped a big hint a deal had been reached for Inverness.
And the SNP’s Drew Hendry, who recently met Tory peer Lord Dunlop to discuss progress, said afterwards he hoped to hear details soon.
Hopes were high, as a result, that news was coming in the Budget.
But a government source told the Press and Journal yesterday the fact it had not been announced did not indicate there was a problem.
Another source confirmed the chancellor was due to visit the Highland capital “early next week”.
The eagerly-awaited financial package could bring hundreds of millions of pounds of investment for major infrastructure projects in Inverness and the surrounding area.
Schemes on Highland Council’s wishlist include a major new sports centre and city-centre enhancements.
A £3million advance on the proposed larger deal, which could be worth up to £300million, has already been confirmed.
The initial funding is to be spent on public wifi in the city centre and on enhancing the grounds of Inverness Castle.