From pews to paws – how a Durham church underwent £300k transformation

AN empty County Durham church has been transformed into a state-of-the-art veterinary practice following a £300,000 investment.

Clifton Lodge Veterinary Group has left its home of 40 years in Hardwick Street in Horden, near Peterlee, and move 250 metres into the former Independent Methodist Church on Cotsford Lane.

The move has increased the size of the practice 10-fold to meet the rise in the number of patients in its care, and will also create up to five new jobs.

The church has been completely renovated and refurbished to create a modern, vibrant vet’s surgery, with three consulting rooms, a laboratory, dispensary, isolation unit, separate dog and cat wards, x-ray room, sterile theatre, prep room and dental suite.

The new practice is being funded by VetPartners, which owns some of the UK’s most respected and trusted veterinary practices, including Clifton Lodge, which also has surgeries in Hartlepool, Sedgefield and Billingham.

Clifton Lodge outgrew its previous site in Horden, which had only one consult room for minor procedures, and was hidden away in a row of domestic houses.

VetPartners Business Development Director Paul Wilson, who oversaw the project, said: “This is going to be a fantastic facility, not only for the team working there, but for clients bringing their pets to the practice.

“It’s currently a busy practice and they do more work there than you would expect on such a small site, so the demand is there as there is a big client base. The move to a bigger site will dramatically increase what the team can do and improve facilities and service.

“It will create a pleasant working environment, with enhanced facilities and additional space.”

The branch currently employs two vets, two nurses and a receptionist.

The expansion will generate new jobs, with the practice looking to employ two extra veterinary nurses, a full-time and part-time vet and another receptionist.

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email

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