Campaign to resurrect vets is a success

St Clair's Vets at Croft Road, Blyth, with staff (left to right) Sharon Mckenzie, Claire York, Rory Thomson and Julie Whincup.
St Clair's Vets at Croft Road, Blyth, with staff (left to right) Sharon Mckenzie, Claire York, Rory Thomson and Julie Whincup.

THE manager of the former St Clair’s Pet Care in Blyth – which controversially shut in the spring to make way for a supermarket car park – has resurrected the business.

Not content with unemployment and after being encouraged by former customers, Julie Whincup and a new, smaller team, are back in business at new premises in Croft Road.

The premises were funded by Derek Bolton of nearby car dealership Smart Autos, who Julie was put in touch with by chance after starting a campaign to save the practice on social networking site Facebook.

Now re-named St Clair Veterinary Care, the new practice opened at the end of July and is enjoying a surge of hundreds of owners registering their pets.

Julie said: “After it closed, a lot of customers I knew kept saying ‘we need a new practice’ and I just thought, ‘maybe there is a possibility’.

“So one Friday night I started a Facebook group called ‘Make a New St Clair’.

“It was through that group someone got in touch who knew Derek and contacted him.

“We’ve got lots of people who have already registered from the old practice.

“In the past couple of weeks we’ve had at least 500 clients registering and for a new business that’s amazing.

“It was hard work from March when I was made redundant.

“Then from meeting Derek we worked non-stop behind the scenes to set up from scratch. We had to find a vet and a nurse.

“But I always said it would work, it’s a practice that people want back in Blyth.

“We are growing every day, we have at least a dozen new registrations a day. It’s a great feeling.”

Apart from Julie, the team consists of nurse Claire York and vet Rory Thomson, to begin with, but Julie hopes to be able to take on more staff as the practice grows.