The only junior football club in Inverness could be saved from closure under plans to create a new community facility at the home of Clachnacuddin FC.
Proposals to instal an artificial pitch at the Grant Street Park home of Clach are being discussed behind the scenes.
The new facilities – which could cost about £500,000 – would also be shared by junior side Inverness City FC and community groups in the Merkinch area.
The move would safeguard the future of closure-threatened Inverness City FC.
Council chiefs told the junior club last year that their five-year lease of a pitch at the Bught playing fields would not be renewed when it expires in August.
Local authority officials have since been working with the club to find a solution.
They are discussing the new proposal with Clach, with the Press and Journal Highland League side having previously sought to instal an artificial pitch at Grant Street Park.
Inverness City FC chairman Alastair Wardhaugh said: “The proposal as it stands is to put in an all-weather pitch at Grant Street Park for us to use, for Clach to use it, and for a less advantaged part of Inverness to benefit.
“There’s been nothing agreed in terms of the financial implications. For us it’s a no-brainer. It would be used quite a lot. I think it’s quite positive.”
Clach chairman Alex Chisholm said: “There’s a lot of speculation. We’ve always been open to anything that is going to help ourselves and the community side of things.
“We looked at this four or five years ago with Orion, our sponsor. We had proposals and looked for funding but it never came to fruition.
“We’ve got plans there. If someone comes forward, we would support it.
“The demand is there. The city is growing. It wouldn’t just be a football facility, it’s a sports facility.”
It is understood that a funding bid could be made to SportScotland.
David Haas, Inverness City manager at Highland Council, said: “There’s a lot of detail to be discussed and agreed before we can say we’ve got a proposal.
“What we’re trying to do at the moment is getting the relevant parties together, and I’m taking the lead on that, to make sure that every opportunity, and this is an opportunity, is taken forward.
“We’re at an early investigatory stage and we’re discussing whether it’s something we can take forward.”