Another part of Inverness Campus is set to take shape after it was confirmed that construction on a new £3.2million building will start before the summer.
The new build already has planning permission and funding for the project was agreed by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) board last week.
The building is designed to provide office space and laboratories as part of the campus’s “life science” sector, supporting around 40 jobs.
This is aimed at attracting medical research and development companies to invest in property at the campus.
Finance secretary John Swinney MSP was on site yesterday to make the announcement and to check on progress at the campus site. He visited the site to cut the first turf in 2012.
He said yesterday: “Inverness Campus is already taking shape as a prime location where key business, research and education organisations can work together in state of the art facilities.
“The unit approved this week will support the growth of a vibrant life sciences sector in the region and build on the north’s global reputation for cutting edge research in life sciences.”
The campus plans to develop in the life science sector, with plans to make use of links to Raigmore Hospital and the Centre for Health Science via the golden bridge over the A9.
HIE have said they are aiming to have buildings ready for companies to move into and have said that the industry could held the campus support 6,000 jobs over the next 30 years.
HIE chairman, Professor Lorne Crerar, said: “Rather than presenting a concept to prospective investors the building provides a tangible asset ready to be tailored to their specific needs.
“The availability of high quality, flexible space is a critical factor in attracting new investment and supporting the growth of existing businesses in the region.
“This kind of flexibility, combined with the opportunity to co-locate with other companies, academia and enterprise, ensures that Inverness Campus offers a world class option for prospective developers.”