Vets group outlines £10m growth plan

Linnaeus Group

A West Midlands vets group has outlined £10m expansion plans – including a £5m scheme in Yorkshire – to reinforce its position as one of the UK’s leading veterinary service providers.

Solihull-based Linnaeus Group is spending £1m extending its flagship practice, Willows Veterinary Centre, in the town, to incorporate a dedicated new radioactive iodine treatment unit for cats with hyperthyroidism. The new facilities will be opening shortly, which will be accompanied by further expansion of the centre’s existing facilities.

However, by far the largest investment is the £5m committed to creating the new purpose-built Paragon Veterinary Referrals centre, in Wakefield. The new facility, due to open next year, will provide a wide range of specialist services for referring vets in the north of England.

The group has also unveiled plans to expand its North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR) Hospital, in Bletchingley, by 50%.

With work beginning at the end of this year and due to be completed next summer, the £1.5m expansion of NDSR will see added consultation rooms, extra theatre and procedure rooms, more kennels, a new staff room and extended vet space, along with a new meeting room. It will also contain state-of-the-art MRI and CT scanner facilities.

A further investment will also be made to recruit new vets and nursing staff as the business continues to grow.

This expansion comes on the back of other major investments made by the group, including a £1.5m rebrand, refurbishment and expansion of its oncology referral centre Southfields Veterinary Specialists, in Essex, which has seen the addition of new hi-tech equipment, along with the recruitment of key specialists and a new leadership team.

Lynne Hill, chief executive of the Linnaeus Group, said the group would also be investing in its existing staff to ensure they had the necessary skills and training to deliver the planned growth.

“Linnaeus continues to expand, providing significant investment in new and existing vet practices. With that expansion comes responsibility and, as a group, we have put a number of support systems in place for practices and colleagues,” she said.

Pictured is Brian Watson, hospital manager at Willows Veterinary Centre in Solihull.