Work on a major expansion of the enterprise park in Forres is expected to start in the coming weeks after Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) approved funding of more than £400,000 for the first stage of the project.
The agency said the development would help meet the needs of growing businesses in Moray and attract new firms to the area.
It will add a further 11 acres to the 40 already developed at the 100-acre site on the eastern approach to Forres.
HIE’s funding will cover the extension of the park’s road network, drainage construction and other infrastructure works.
Contractor Pat Munro (Alness) has been appointed to carry out the project, which will be managed by Invergordon-based chartered surveyors, the Torrance Partnership.
More than a dozen businesses have operations at Enterprise Park Forres, including contact centre operator Kuros, IT services firm Atos and rocket-builder Orbex. Other tenants include Gael Force Marine, Phoenix Instinct, Electro Flow Controls and Makar Technologies.
Around 500 workers are normally based at the park, which is also home to the Horizon Scotland innovation and incubation centre.
Stuart Black, HIE area manager in Moray, said: “We’ve been developing Enterprise Park Forres to provide a range of good-quality options for local businesses to grow, so they can stay in the area, but also to accommodate more firms looking to locate in Moray.
“The success of the park has contributed to economic growth in the Forres area and to community resilience by creating conditions to attract firms that provide good quality job opportunities.
“With the exception of just one building, the developed area of park is now fully occupied, so it’s absolutely the right time to start preparations for the next development phase.”
HIE said it had also commissioned a green travel plan for the site, which is a mile from the centre of Forres.
Work on the expansion project is due to get under way next month and is expected to be completed by the end of next March.
Enterprise Park Forres was launched in 2004, with Horizon Scotland the first building to open there.