From pews to pets! Teesside church is transformed into vet practice

AN empty Methodist chapel in Billingham has been transformed following £200,000 of investment to create a state-of-the-art veterinary practice.

 Clifton Lodge Veterinary Group in Station Road, Billingham, opened its new practice on September 1st after relocating to the vacant Methodist church two doors along the street.

The move has more than doubled the size of the practice, which currently has 1,800 registered clients, and will create three new jobs, including a vet, qualified veterinary nurse and receptionist.

The church has been renovated and refurbished to create a modern, vibrant surgery, with two consulting rooms, operating theatre, x-ray room, prep room with dental facilities, separate cat and dog kennels, an isolation unit and a laboratory. There will also be offices and a room for the practice team.

The practice has invested in a new x-ray machine, dental equipment, ultrasound scanner, in-house laboratory and surgical apparatus, enabling the team to carry out bigger surgical procedures instead of pets having to be taken to Clifton Lodge’s main practice in Hartlepool.

The massive boost for pet owners across Billingham and Teesside follows £200,000 of investment from UK veterinary group, VetPartners, which has 140 of the UK’s most respected and trusted veterinary practices, including Clifton Lodge, which also has branch surgeries in Sedgefield and Horden, as well as the main practice in Hartlepool.

The new practice had been expected to open in March but renovation work was delayed due to Covid-19.

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

“There is definitely potential to grow the client base as there is demands for services, and it will be a better place to bring pets, with enhanced facilities and much more space. We want to provide outstanding care for patients and an excellent experience for our clients.

“This is another example of how VetPartners is investing in its practices throughout the UK.”

It is the second former Methodist chapel to be turned into a new surgery by Clifton Lodge after their Horden branch took over the Independent Methodist Church in Cotsford Lane in November 2019.

The improved facilities at the new Horden surgery led to 42 new clients registering in the first week of opening.

Recruitment plans will see the new Billingham branch increase team members and will employ two vets, two nurses and a receptionist.

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

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