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The town is well known for the Invergordon Mutiny of 1931. More recently it has also become known for the repair of oil rigs which line up in the Cromarty Firth on which the town is situated. In the 1970s and 1980s nearby Nigg was known for the construction of these rigs. The yard used for this is now attempting to re-establish itself as a fabricator of large offshore wind turbines and oil rig refurbishment since being purchased by Global Energy Group.
For a number of years Invergordon was the site of an aluminium smelter until 1981 when British Aluminium closed it down. The pipeline that covered the conveyor belt from the smelter to the BA pier was not dismantled until the early 2000s and the two large tanks still stand today as well as a water tower.
It still has a grain whisky distillery, operated by Indian-owned whisky giant Whyte and Mackay, the output of which contributes to many blended whiskies. Connected to the distillery was the Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band.
Since the 1970s some would perceive the town as a 'Glasgow colony', since many workers were recruited from southern Scotland to work in the oil rig fabrication and aluminium smelting industries. As a result, the residents' accents often show more influence from Glasgow, than the surrounding Easter Ross dialect of Highland English although this has changed in recent years.
In recent years Global Energy Group have been expanding, with the purchase of the Nigg fabrication yard it has also brought much appreciated work to Invergordon's Docks with the town again full of oil company workers through the day.
A naval base in the early 20th century, evidence of which remains in the tank farm lying behind the town centre, which used to contain fuel oil and water for admiralty ships, and the Admiralty Pier, where once warships docked and which is now used for cruise ships in the summer and oil-field support vessels through the year. One German bomb hit one of the tanks during World War II when a large flying boat base occupied much of the northerly coast of the Cromarty Firth, the result of this being that the fuel oil flowed onto the railway tracks. According to town history the bomb did not explode. The port renewed its military connections in the summer of 2017, when it was visited by the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during her sea trials.
Invergordon is now the premiere mural town of the Highlands and hopes to emulate the success of her mentor in Chemainus, British Columbia. Currently the town is adorned with a series of 17 murals. The paintwork created by a selection of artists tells the stories of the local community and the area. This trail is a result of a community project which was initially designed to integrate local community groups (17 in total took part). The trail, which was opened by the Princess Royal, now acts as a major tourist draw. Now Invergordon Off The Wall, the group who facilitated the project, have just completed their latest project creating three new pieces with the assistance of inspirational artists DUFI( Al Macinnes & Fin Macrae), The Mobile Foundry (Kevin Blackwell & Roddy Mathieson)and not forgetting Del Whitticase. Take a moment to view their pieces, Channel, Foundations and Bubblefield. As ever, these artists drew their source material from working with a broad cross-section of local people.
As of 2012, there is a controversial scheme for a waste incinerator at the Cromarty Firth Industrial Park in Invergordon, which the Scottish government are now reviewing following protests by the local community. The £43 million plant would be built by Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) Ltd.
Invergordon has one secondary school, Invergordon Academy, which is fed by four primary schools, Newmore Primary School, Park Primary School, South Lodge Primary School and Milton Primary School.
In 2013 the Highland Council announced plans for a new super school to serve Ross shire with the preferred option being that it be built in Invergordon. This has seen much protest by locals and is currently under review. If it went ahead Alness and Tain academies would close and there would also be a change to the local primary schools.
- Allison, George (15 January 2017). "MoD deny rumours that a new aircraft carrier will be mothballed". UK Defence Journal.
- Scotsman article by Frank Urquart, 1 December 2012