Plans for a £16m hotel in Inverness where vulnerable and disadvantaged young people will be offered training in hospitality have been unveiled.
The training hotel, a collaborative project by highland charities Albyn Housing Society and the Calman Trust, will have 120 rooms, including 40 self-contained apartments designed as short-term accommodation.
Developers have launched a funding drive for the four-star hotel at the new Inverness Campus site on the outskirts of the city with the goal of opening in 2014.
The Calman Trust will shortly open Artysans restaurant in Inverness, which will work along the same lines as the proposed four-star social hotel.
Dr Isobel Grigor, chief executive of the Trust, said the hotel would offer training to young people facing the risk of falling into a cycle of life-long unemployment.
"Young people will work alongside professionals in all areas, including reception, maintenance, housekeeping, the kitchen and food service," she added.
"The hope is that, as well as leaving with skills and a desire for further training and employment, they will have also learnt important skills for independent living."
Construction firm UBC expects to finish the project within 12 months.
By Janie Stamford
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