MSPs are to be told about new plans to help Scotland's high streets by giving companies rates relief for bringing empty properties back into use.
Local government minister Derek Mackay has put forward proposals which would mean firms occupying shops or offices that have been empty for at least a year will be able to apply for a 50% discount on their business rates for 12 months.
The Scottish Government hopes that as well as rejuvenating high streets, the measure could also encourage more business start-ups.
Mr Mackay has put an amendment to the Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc.) (Scotland) Bill to bring in the new discount.
He will tell MSPs on the Local Government and Regeneration Committee - which is scrutinising the proposed legislation - about it.
The Scottish Government hopes the Bill will help cut the number of vacant properties.
But it has been criticised by opposition MSPs and others for its plans to cut the rates relief firms receive on empty properties. Currently, businesses can get a 50% discount on unoccupied properties, with ministers planning to reduce this to 10% - a move which has been branded a "tax on distress" by the business lobby group CBI Scotland.
Speaking ahead of the committee meeting, Mr Mackay said introducing a rates discount for companies taking on empty premises would "give empty properties a fresh start".
He stated: "I want to see local high streets across Scotland thriving and empty properties brought back into use across the country. I believe it is important we take action, during tough times, to encourage people to set up shop, open up premises and start new businesses in our unused buildings.
"By offering a 50% discount to anyone bringing a shop or office that has been empty for twelve months or more back into use, this scheme will help to bring businesses back to our high streets and give empty properties a fresh start."