THE Royal National Mòd is to return to Inverness in 2014 for the first time since the annual celebration of Gaelic arts, music, culture and language was last held in the Highland capital in 1997.
The announcement that Inverness will play host to the major Gaelic festival in four years' time was made as the curtain came down on this year's event, staged for the first time in Caithness.
The nine-day celebration attracted thousands of spectators to Wick and Thurso where more than 100 events were staged.
It has already been announced that next year's Mod will take place in Stornoway and across the wider Western Isles, before it moves to Dunoon in 2012 and then to Paisley the following year.
Councillor Fraser Parr, representing the Provost of Inverness, was in Caithness to officially welcome the announcement.
• Final day mod results
He said: "It is a major honour for the city of Inverness to have the opportunity to host Gaelic's premier cultural and linguistic festival in four years time.
"The Md was last held in the capital of the Highlands in 1997 and since then the language continues to grow and flourish.
"Evidence of this is clear as the first Gaelic Primary School in the Highlands, the Bun Sgoil Gidhlig Inbhir Nis, has surpassed all expectations, and the building has been extended to fulfil demand from parents wishing to educate their children through the medium of Gaelic."
Councillor Hamish Fraser, chairman of the Highland Council's Gaelic Committee, said. "This is very good news for Inverness and the whole Highlands. We look forward to promoting this important event both locally and internationally."