Argyll and Bute leaders hope to “build back better” from the pandemic after taking another step towards a £70 million package of investment.
The longed-for rural growth deal brings together £25m each from the Scottish and UK Governments, and at least £20m via Argyll and Bute Council and partners.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said the recent signing of the “heads of terms” agreement marked a “significant step forward”.
He added: “This deal will drive and deliver projects, designed by local partners, that will help to reinvigorate the region’s economy and build strategically for its long term growth and prosperity.
“At a time of such economic uncertainty and challenge, the projects and investment committed through the deal will be more important than ever and will play a key role in the region’s recovery from the pandemic.
“Investments through the deal will create new jobs, protect existing jobs and extend economic opportunities to communities, businesses and individuals across the region.”
The three levels of government will agree the themes for the 10-15 year scheme.
Aquaculture, tourism, housing, digital connectivity and skills for a rural economy are among the sectors expected to benefit.
Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: “The rural growth deal is about turning economic potential into a successful future for Argyll and Bute.”
UK Government Minister Iain Stewart said: “This is an important milestone for the Argyll and Bute rural growth deal, which will play a vital role in building back better from Covid-19.”