Plans to build a new artificial pitch for two well-known Inverness football teams and the local community are poised to move a significant step forward.
Grant Street Park, the home of city Highland League side Clachnacuddin FC, has been earmarked for the initiative.
As well as being a long-term goal of Clach, the development has been suggested to try to safeguard the future of the Highland capital’s only junior club, Inverness City FC, and to offer a new community facility for underprivileged youngsters in Merkinch.
Representatives from Clach, Inverness City and the Merkinch Partnership were due to meet tonight to finalise the proposal, which has been drawn up by consultants.
It is then expected to go before councillors for approval at the first meeting of the new City of Inverness Area Committee on June 19.
The plan was unveiled in January after the future of Inverness City was thrown into doubt last year when council chiefs told the junior club 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, and they have been discussing the proposal with Press and Journal Highland League side Clach, who have previously sought to install an artificial pitch at Grant Street Park.
Inverness City FC chairman Alastair Wardhaugh said: “We’ve got a meeting on Monday night with ourselves, Clach, the Merkinch Partnership and our consultant.
“It’s just to finalise what his proposal is for Clach Park prior to it going before the Inverness area committee on June 19.
“After that, it’s a case of applying for appropriate funding.
“The consultant is going down the road of having a 3G pitch primarily to be used by Clach and ourselves, but for the rest of the time can be used by the community.
“It will need to be closed off so someone will need to be employed to man it.
“I hope it will be agreed. It’s the funding that is the big issue. I’m quietly confident but you never know. There are new councillors who have come in and some have gone.”
The new facilities could cost about £500,000 and funding bids are expected to go to sportscotland and other bodies.
Clach chairman Alex Chisholm has previously said that the club would be open to supporting the move.