Construction starts on £2m animal health centre

A new animal treatment centre is under construction on the Fylde Coast. Norcross Vets, which has four practices in the area, is investing £2m in a new facility to provide the area with a state-of-the art resource.

[caption id="attachment_25869" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="300"]IMG_5869 Ross Dickens and with Andrew Milne[/caption]

The new centre is being built on land off Norcross Road, overlooking the Amounderness Way roundabout, on the site of a former farmhouse. Norcross Vets is already operating its 24-hour service from a temporary building on the site, having moved from its previous headquarters on Blackpool Old Road in Poulton where it operated as Milne and Shine for 25 years.

Thornton-based main contractor Clement Dickens and Son has been appointed to the project and has already undertaken groundworks and installed amenities. The steel frame building is now starting the take shape and, following specialist fit-out, the new facility is set to be completed in 2014.

Designed by Thornton-based architect Eric Forster and Gavin Lemon of GL Design, Glasgow, the two-storey, 12,000 sq ft building will incorporate six consulting rooms, a large treatment room, three state-of-the-art theatres, an imaging suite - including digital x-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, and CT - a chemotherapy unit, a hydrotherapy pool, isolation facilities, extensive animal accommodation and office space. The upper storey will house a lecture theatre and staff facilities, including accommodation for the on-site vets and nurses.

Owner Andrew Milne said the new premises will offer clients the best possible facilities and service. He said: “It is in a central location with easy access to all areas of Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde and beyond. It’s a great site, being highly visible and easy to find – important if you consider someone travelling with a sick animal late at night.”

Employing 20 staff, the business also has practices in Fleetwood, Cleveleys and recently opened in Stalmine. Already offering 24-hour care, seven days a week, the veterinary centre will provide a local base for visiting consultants from elsewhere in the region, and enable owners to visit pets who require several days’ treatment.

Dr Milne added: “At the moment some referrals mean traveling to Liverpool or St Helens to see consultants. This facility will allow us to provide a full range of services right here in Norcross. I also believe it is important for owners to be able to visit their pets when they have to be hospitalised, it helps with the patient’s recovery. Our new building will be more convenient for them and hopefully provide a better experience for their pest.” Ross Dickens, managing director of Clement Dickens and Son, added: “As a local firm we were pleased to be appointed to this project which will bring such an important facility to his community. There has been a lot of work done on preparing the site for construction but now people are going to start to see the shell coming together quite quickly before we undertake the specialist fit out later this year.”