Plans to develop an £8m leisure complex next to the A9 south of Inverness have been unveiled by Perthshire-based Braemore Estates.
Up to 70 jobs are expected to be created under the proposals to build a 42-bedroom hotel, a 160-seat restaurant and a four-unit shopping quarter at Tomatin, 14 miles from Inverness.
The site, formerly home of the Little Chef restaurant and the Freeburn Hotel, is expected to open in 2009 and aims to provide respite to tourists, day trippers and business people who travel on the A9 from the central belt to the Highlands every year.
The development, which is being designed by Dundee-based architects Nicoll Russell Studios, will also feature Highland elements such as log fires and flagstones in the hotel.
William Frame, Braemore Estates managing director admitted the journey to the Highlands can be an arduous one for travellers coming from England or the central belt.
"Whether you're after a stopover bed, a hearty meal, souvenir shopping or just a chance to stop and get a coffee before hitting the road again, the Tomatin development will be all about having a pleasant experience that celebrates Scotland's produce, cuisine and warm hospitality."
By Helen Gilbert
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