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Stackyard News Aug 2012

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Alnorthumbria Wagonway Road Veterniary Practice Reopens

Alnwick is to have a newly refurbished, modern veterinary surgery in Wagonway Road. A significant amount has been invested in upgrading Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group’s Alnwick based Wagonway Road Practice, believed to be one of the earliest purpose built UK veterinary surgeries. The Wagonway Road Practice now has the technology to treat the full range of domestic pets, equine and farm animals.

Back row left to right; John Macfarlane, Farm Vet and Director, Ruth Dixon, Receptionist. Front row; Claire Riddell and Stuart Morris, both Farm Vets.

Wagonway Road Staff Team

The refurbishment took nine months to complete, but the development has been in the planning for ten years as the Veterinary Group has expanded across the North East. The Wagonway Road surgery will now house three divisions - small animal, large animal and equine. The specialist equine hospital will still be based at Fairmoor.

It is believed that the Wagonway Road site, opened in 1897 by George Craik MRCVS, was one of the first purpose built veterinary surgeries in the country. Therefore, as the roots of Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group can be traced back to this particular surgery, it is fitting for the group to return to the same location as their new facilities.

The new premises can offer full laboratory services and will include a full nurse compliment.

Alnorthumbria Director, John Macfarlane comments on their return to the clinic.

“The refurbishments made to our Wagonway Road Practice mean that we can offer many more services from one central location. It will be equipped with top class facilities and will be run by a team who all have significant experience in treating Northumberland’s animals.”

“We are all really excited to be moving back into Wagonway Road and it is a great achievement for the veterinary group. We can now offer a wider range of treatments and services for our clients and put our expertise to the very best use. I would just like to express a quick note of thanks to all of the farmers for their patience while the farm vets have been in unit 5b. And also to the vets, nurses and support staff who despite it not being ideal surgery space enjoyed their time there in what affectionately became known as the ‘love shack’”.

The move is another great milestone for the veterinary group that was formed by a merger between Aln Veterinary Group and Northumbria Veterinary Partnership almost five years ago. The Wagonway renovations had been in the pipeline before the two practices merged and is the final piece in the jigsaw of upgrades made by the new business. The Veterinary Group employs 28 loyal and very experienced vets including longest serving team member David Young, who after many years in mixed practice is now one of the Small Animal Directors. David started working at the Wagonway Road practice in 1978. 34 years later he has seen many changes in the treatment and advancement of animal care during this time.

David commented, “Having been involved in veterinary practice in Northumberland for so many years I have certainly seen an evolution in the industry. The Wagonway Road Site is set to offer the very best in progressive animal health care and is testament to Alnorthumbria’s commitment to providing a caring and up-to-date service with modern premises for our clients and their animals”.

Those who were instrumental in the redevelopment includes Richard Sullivan of Sullivan Associates in Amble, Craven-Smith Construction Ltd of Ulgham, and the Design Team Simon Caple and Andrew Sawyer, with the input of David and John, who will take charge of managing the branch.

The farm and equine service has operated from Wagonway Road since 20th of August and the domestic pets service will start on the 4th of September. Each can be contacted on 01665 510 999 from those dates. For more information about the Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group practices go online at

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Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group