Residents in Lewis have been given a £207,500 grant towards their community buyout of the Carloway Estate.
In February, locals voted three to one in favour of purchasing the 11,000 estate on the north-west coast of the islands which contains the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones.
The stones, owned by Historic Scotland, are not part of the deal.
Alex Salmond announced the offer from the Scottish Land Fund during first minister’s questions yesterday.
“That is another important stepping stone towards our target of 1million acres under community ownership by 2020,” he said.
Fewer than 700 people live on the 11,400-acre crofting estate, which stretches from Callanish to Knock and includes the villages of Breasclete, Tolsta Chaolais, Doune and Kirivick.
The Galloway family, who own the land, are willing sellers, and after the community voted to buy the land began applying to the Scottish Land Fund.
Welcoming the award, Western Isles SNP MSP Alasdair Allan, said: “This is a very substantial boost for Urras Oighreachd, and all those working hard to ensure that the people on Carloway Estate have control over their own land and future.
“This follows a successful ballot recently in favour of the buyout, and I look forward to working with the community in future to help ensure that their ambitions become a reality.”