More than $3.5 million from the Provincial Growth Fund has been earmarked to tackle youth unemployment and support economic growth in Gore.
It includes funding towards the Maruawai precinct project, with the redevelopment of the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and creation of the Maruawai Heritage Centre on the cards.
About $2.1m will be earmarked for the Hokonui Huanui programme which provides support services for young people.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, announcing the investment this morning, said the projects created a solid foundation for future growth in the Gore district.
"The Gore community has told us that they want to make the most of the tourism opportunities in the wider Southland and Otago area. We've heard this and are proud to come to the table and support the Maruawai precinct project," Mr Jones said.
"We will also invest to support local young people to take up jobs that will be created from a growing Southland economy. Our investment in the Hokonui Huanui project will help change the lives of rangatahi who are at risk of long-term unemployment."
Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks said the funding was a golden opportunity to tell a unique Southland story and ensure local young people had the right work skills as the Southland economy grows.
Part of the funding will be allocated to redevelop the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and establish a boutique distillery.
"It's the right investment, at the right time, in the right place," Mr Hicks said.
"It will present a rich tapestry of local stories and give visitors an in-depth understanding of the place we live in - Maruawai, Valley of Water."
Arts and Heritage curator Jim Geddes said the investment would put Gore firmly on the map as a visitor destination.