Another Highland community is a step closer to establishing a business initiative, pioneered in Inverness, to boost trade.
Local entrepreneurs have appointed a veteran operator to front their mission to create a Nairnshire “business improvement district” (Bid).
The scheme levies local businesses for investment to attract new trade.
Alan Rankin, formerly of the Cairngorms Partnership and currently part of Marine Scotand, has been appointed project officer to steer the initiative.
Local traders are expected to vote on the proposition next year.
Mr Rankin, of Coigach Consulting, will support a steering group to oversee business plans and to ensure those involved have a comprehensive understanding of what the scheme would deliver.
His career began in the retail sector and he has worked in senior positions in tourism and economic development for more than 20 years.
Mr Rankin said: “I look forward to meeting business owners, event managers and interest groups.
“There’s enormous potential for a successful Bid to contribute to an exciting future for the area.”
Michael Green, co-chairman of the steering group, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve secured the services of Alan Rankin to take the Nairn Bid to ballot early next year.
“The Bid will provide the capacity to deliver a local business plan promoting economic growth in Nairnshire.
“Alan’s broad experience in tourism, destination development, marine tourism – and Bids – provides the group with invaluable expertise. Exciting times lie ahead and Alan’s appointment is a massive step forward.”
Steering group co-chairman Michael Boylan, who also heads the Association of Nairn Businesses, said: “We were in the lucky position of having more than one company who wanted to work with us. This shows that the local area is seen as somewhere with a bright future.
“I’d also like to thank Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise for their support in enabling and supporting the process.
Inverness was a test ground in Highland for a Bid initiative that originated in the US and was then tried in several English towns and cities.