The owner of a popular Lochaber visitor attraction which caught fire earlier this year said he hopes to reopen before the end of the year.
The Ice Factor national ice climbing centre in Kinlochleven was badly damaged in the blaze on July 29.
More than 200 people were evacuated when the accidental fire broke out in the sauna area of the 119-year-old building.
The centre has remained closed ever since. It was hoped that it would reopen in August but now owner Jamie Smith says that December is their target.
Mr Smith said: “While we will again re-evaluate progress with the refurbishment next month, I am optimistic that Ice Factor Kinlochleven will finally reopen for business in December.
“Over the past nine weeks, considerable progress has been made by staff and specialist teams to help clean, rebuild and reinstate key facilities. Though the fire was contained to the back of the facility, including the sauna area, the likes of the heating, ventilation and electrical systems were badly damaged.”
He added that the whole building was severely affected by smoke damage, requiring extensive reinstatement works.
He said: “In the climbing areas alone, work is ongoing to strip the huge ice and climbing walls, re-establishing both the ice-pack and an estimated 9,000 (climbing) holds. The cost of repairs will be several hundred thousands of pounds.
“It is frustrating and disappointing to have been forced to close over our traditionally busy summer and autumn months and to cancel several events and I am hugely appreciative of the support and understanding of our many loyal customers.
“The whole team now very much look forward to welcoming climbers and visitors back to Ice Factor Kinlochleven by the end of the year to once again enjoy all the fun and adventure that this big, bold exciting facility has to offer.”
Ice Factor Kinlochleven first opened in 2003. The parent company, Ice Factor International also owns Snow Factor Braehead, Scotland’s only indoor real snow facility and which offers ice-climbing, skiing, snowboarding, luge and sledging.