More than 200 jobs will be created in the development of a deep water terminal in the Outer Hebrides.
The £49m project includes a facility for berthing cruise ships up to 360 metres long, a new deep water berth for larger cargo vessels and a freight ferry berth in Stornoway.
The plans, which aim to strengthen transport links and support a range of diverse industries, extend to berthing and unloading facilities for renewable energy components and development land.
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “We want our island communities to thrive and this investment to create a deep water terminal at Stornoway will provide infrastructure to support a range of diverse industries and economic activities, ranging from cruises, to energy, to aquaculture and ferries, which will be a tremendous benefit to the Western Isles.
“This transformational project, which will put Stornoway in pole position to take advantage of emerging technologies such as hydrogen, is the culmination of dedicated partnership working between local partners, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Scottish Government to create a development of real value to communities.
“This is a great example of the blue economy in action, as it is creating infrastructure in our islands which can benefit a range of marine industries and coastal communities, helping Scotland build back better from the pandemic and make the transition to net zero through the creation of a stronger, more resilient, sustainable economy.”
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar leader Roddie Mackay said: “This investment is the first step in a comprehensive vision for the redevelopment of Stornoway and the ancillary facilities around the port.
“The project will create new marine-related opportunities, not only for Stornoway, but the whole of the Outer Hebrides. We believe this investment will make Stornoway one of the premier ports in the west of Scotland and will create significant new economic value for the overall Scottish economy.”