A fund to promote natural and cultural assets in the Highlands and Islands is to be set up.
Scottish Natural Heritage has been invited to establish a challenge fund based on European Regional Development funding.
The fund will support the sustainable development of natural and cultural assets, especially in more rural parts of the region.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage said: "Nature and culture are closely linked in the Highlands and Islands and in many places they are central to the local economy, maintaining rural populations, jobs and skills.
"We want to make the most of new opportunities to spread those benefits to more rural communities in the coming years.
"We look forward to taking the next steps when we meet with stakeholders later this month."