Located 3 miles (5 km) west of Invergordon in Easter Ross, Highland Council Area, Alness sits astride the River Alness where it enters the Cromarty Firth. In recent times the town has grown to be the largest in the district due to an influx of light industries. Although agriculture, forestry, sawmilling and distilling have always offered employment in the area, it is the development of the Alness Point Business Park, with emphasis on software development, and the creation of a British Telecom help-desk operation which have contributed significantly to the growth of the town. The business park was built on the site of a wartime flying boat training base and a memorial commemorating this fact was unveiled in 2001. Alness does have its social problems, with a well-established drugs under-culture.

Although not a tourist centre, there is excellent salmon and sea-trout fishing to be found in the area and a small 9 hole golf course is located outside the town. In addition, its fine floral arrangements have ensured that Alness has been a regular winner of the Scotland in Bloom and of Britain in Bloom competitions.

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