AFTER months of waiting and speculation, the capital of the Highlands was declared one of Britain's new cities to mark the new millennium and the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
A total of 39 towns across the UK entered the race and Inverness fought off competition from Ayr, Paisley and Stirling to become Scotland's fifth city.
The English conurbations of Brighton and Wolverhampton were also awarded city status.
A delighted Inverness Provost Bill Smith was among the civic and business leaders who celebrated the announcement in December.
"It is a great honour for us and particularly because there were so many outstanding entries," he said. "It isn't just Inverness on its own, we realise that.
"It is very much Inverness and the Highlands and I hope that we will go on from strength to strength because of that."