MORE than 1000 people have responded to a survey gauging interest in proposals for year-round snowsports facilities in the Inverness area.
Members of the Inverness Backcountry Snowsports Club and Cairngorm Ski Club have been working on the plans with national organisation Snowsport Scotland.
Survey responses flooded in after a volunteer working group revealed they were exploring the possibility of creating new facilities for ski-ing and snowboarding as well as mountain biking, orienteering and other activities.
Although at a very early stage yet, with no preferred site for the development identified and no funding in place, organisers say the response suggests a real appetite for such a facility in or near the Highland capital.
Working group co-ordinator Helen Morgan said: “It’s a complicated process because even after we get to the stage of identifying a site there are a whole lot of planning issues to consider, such as access and so on.
“At the moment we’re just trying to establish demand and to get a broad idea of how people would use the site.
“As of 10.15pm on Saturday we had 1000 respondents to the survey and according to our Facebook page over 17,000 people have been reached.
“The news is spreading like wild fire.”
With some of the survey results starting to be analysed already she added that most people so far would prefer the facility to be located in Inverness itself, with possible locations mentioned including Torvean Quarry, the old Craig Dunain golf course and land above Milton of Leys.
“Again, we are still at the very early stages and are just asking for suggestions right now,” Ms Morgan stressed.
The survey remains open throughout the month and organisers are keen that anyone who is interested completes it, regardless of age or ski-ing ability.
“Because the survey really will inform how we approach things going forward we’re very keen to make sure that parents complete the survey on behalf of their children as well as themselves, so that they are very much included in the planning,” said Ms Morgan.
To read more about the plans and take part in the survey see www.ibsc.org.uk