The next stage in the massive Macdonald Hotels backed redevelopment of Aveimore in the Scottish Highlands has been given the provisional go ahead by local officials.
A planned £80m masterplan for the area, which is being spearheaded by Macdonald Aveimore Highland Resort (MAHR), remains on track after the Cairngrom National Park Authority gave it the green light late last week.
Additional leisure and retail outlets for the resort are expected to create 500 jobs in the next few years in addition to the 500 already created since Macdonald started redeveloping the Aviemore Highland Resort in 2002.
In April of this year the hotel company, which has now established a year round conference business, opened a training academy at the resort to tackle the industry's ongoing skills crisis.
Donald Macdonald, chairman of the MAHR, said: "This is great news for the Highlands. The future success of Aviemore will feed through to other parts of the region helping to attract visitors and bring lasting prosperity."
MAHR is being backed on the project by Tulloch Homes and Bank of Scotland.
Aveimore was developed into Scotland's first ski resort in the 1960s but suffered decline due to a lack of guaranteed snow.
Planned developments in the local community include the creation of a three acre public park; improved transport links; a new supermarket and more office space and potentially an ice rink and climbing wall.
By Chris Druce