Two Inverness medical practices are in early discussions with developers about a new purpose built facility at Inverness Campus.
Both Culloden Medical Practice and Cairn Medical Practice have outgrown their current facilities, which serve over 16,000 patients between them and are exploring the possibility of new premises within the development.
The Centre for Health Science is also contemplating a presence within the new building, while the University of the Highlands and Islands and the Scottish Agricultural College have also been involved in discussions.
Significantly improved patient facilities and excellent connectivity are just two of the benefits the new medical centre would enjoy. Proximity to both Raigmore Hospital and the Centre for Health Science would allow the practice doctors to expand their work with some of Scotland's top healthcare academics and researchers.
Professor Alasdair Munro, chairman of the Centre for Health Science Company, said: "We are hugely enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing medical practices together with education and research. This facility could become of national significance.
"Our expertise of bringing clinical practice, healthcare education and research together in the Centre for Health Science over the past four years has been very positive and we would like to replicate the concept on the campus.
"We would hope to develop other research themes within this new facility and are already talking to partners about areas of focus relevant to the Highlands and Islands."
Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE's Project Director for Inverness Campus, said: "When we were made aware of this project, which is still in very early stages of discussion, we immediately recognised it embodies the ethos of Inverness Campus by bringing together complementary organisations for mutual benefit. The project could stimulate a number of potential growth opportunities for the Campus, for example in sports medicine, where the potential for academic links could be explored.
Research links with the Scottish Agricultural College are also being explored.
Ruaraidh continued: "Detailed discussions are planned for the next few months and we hope further announcements will follow soon."