A long-established Northumberland veterinary practice – whose headquarters was knocked down to make way for a new superstore – has completed the second phase of its re-location and expansion.
Robson and Prescott moved to a new £3.5m state-of-the-art centre on the outskirts of Morpeth a year ago, after its previous base at Low Stanners was demolished as part of the development of the new Morrisons store.
The practice, which is one of the biggest in the North East with a client base of 32,000, wanted to retain a presence in Morpeth town centre, so it opened a small satellite facility opposite its old HQ in Staithes Lane.
For the past 10 months it has been manned only on a part-time basis, but is now fully operational to coincide with this week's opening of the new store.
The satellite branch is for small animals and is aimed at clients who can't drive, or who need to pick up prescriptions.
An emergency ambulance service is available to take sick animals to the main Whorral Bank hospital, a mile away.
Robson and Prescott practice manager, Shelagh Prescott, said: “It is a brand new little surgery, and is now open full-time, with vets consulting there twice a day.
“We bought the premises six years ago as a house for vets, and since the 2008 floods the garage has been used as a store for large animal equipment and drugs.
“The demand is there and we felt we needed to offer clients a convenient place in Morpeth while they are shopping.
“Ironically, despite our big move to Whorral Bank, our satellite practice means we are still in the same place as we were before the war.”
Developer Dransfield Properties funded the cost of the Whorral Bank veterinary centre as part of a relocation package when they were given the go ahead to build the Morrisons store.
The building includes four operating theatres, a dental suite, an X-ray room, ultra-sound facilities, separate animal wards, hydrotherapy and physio rooms and six consulting rooms.
There is a also separate equine and farm animal unit, as well as parking for more than 60 cars, animal transporters and horse boxes on the three-and-a-half acre site, providing better road access for clients. It is three times bigger than the previous base.