Highlands and Islands Enterprise has pledged £2.35 million to the rebuild of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory.
It said the funding would help the £7.4 million project move closer to reality.
The new premises will include 29 high quality guest rooms for visitors and staff with facilities for research, and will occupy the site of the previous observatory which was destroyed in a disastrous fire in March 2019.
Designed by Colin Armstrong Architects, based in Inverness, the modular building will largely be constructed off-site, with modules being shipped to Fair Isle for assembly.
Subject to planning consent, it is hoped that construction on the island could get under way in summer 2022 and the new observatory be ready to welcome its first visitors in spring 2023.
The project, led by Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust, will create seven new green jobs, help to sustain the island’s population and meet the community’s aspirations to become carbon neutral by 2040.