Rural economy funding secures jobs at Ross-shire Engineering
Funding of up to £200m has helped create new jobs at a Highlands engineering company.
Ross-shire Engineering has secured the potential investment across the next five years supplying equipment to Scottish Water.
The firm in Muir of Ord has already created 100 new jobs to allow it meet the needs of the utility company.
The investment has also provided additional job security to the existing 273 staff members.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the company's premises near Inverness on Monday, following a tour of Nigg Energy Park on the Cromarty Firth.
She said: "Ensuring a strong rural economy is crucial to Scotland's success.
"This funding Ross-Shire Engineering has secured provides a hugely welcome boost in providing skilled jobs and investment across the Highlands, as well as providing vital utility services to Scotland's homes and businesses.
"In particular, I am delighted they will be investing in their already strong apprenticeship job programme, providing vital training and employment to young people living in the Highlands in a competitive jobs market."
The first minister added: "Last week when I set out my Programme for Government I promised to protect Scotland's interests, particularly our economic interests, in the wake of the EU referendum.
"Driving sustainable economic growth is at the heart of that, and I am committed to ensuring this government does all it can to ensure Scotland's rural economy remains prosperous for future generations."