Plans for a new Gaelic digital TV channel have taken a step forward after the BBC Trust agreed to carry out a public value test.
The channel is expected to begin broadcasting next year
The trust's public consultation process will be held alongside an Ofcom market value assessment.
The Gaelic channel is to be run as a partnership between BBC Scotland and Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service).
It is hoped the Gaelic Digital Service will be on air by March 2008.
Commissioning is already under way for the new channel, which will feature daily programme broadcasts, and Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig is seeking programme submissions from both new and established producers of Gaelic television programmes.
A spokesman for BBC Scotland said: "We are delighted that the BBC Trust are proceeding with the public value test.
"Now BBC Scotland and the Gaelic Media Service will continue to work together on the development of the proposal over the coming months."
Donald Campbell, chief executive of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig, welcomed the BBC Trust's decision to proceed with the public value test.
He said: "The BBC Trust has taken an important step and we look forward to the outcome of the process and to the launch of the channel.
"We will devote our efforts in the coming months to listening to the views of the audience and to setting in train all the work that needs to be done in establishing the channel."
Both the public value test and Ofcom's market impact assessment will begin on 16 August.