Donations fund new veterinary facility

The opening ceremony with staff from Northumberland College Vicky McGarry and Jen Bell and members of Friends of Kirkley Hall.
The opening ceremony with staff from Northumberland College Vicky McGarry and Jen Bell and members of Friends of Kirkley Hall.

A NEW veterinary training facility has been unveiled by Northumberland College with the help of donations from a local charity.

The Bell Centre at the college’s Kirkley Hall campus has been transformed from an unused building to a modern training unit, fully equipped with a wet room, consultation room, operating theatre, grooming parlour and kennel facilities.

The Friends of Kirkley Hall donated more than £2,000 towards the project, which has allowed the college to refurbish the building and buy equipment, including an x-ray machine, operating tables and scrub sinks.

Lecturer Vicky McGarry said: “Opening the Bell Centre is the result of months of hard work from everybody who has been involved in this project including the staff and students of Northumberland College and The Friends of Kirkley Hall.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the help and support we have received.

“The new facilities offer our students a real life working environment in which they can simulate working practices which they would encounter working in a surgery.

“With the money donated by The Friends of Kirkley Hall we have been able to purchase all of the equipment which is a mandatory requirement for the college to be able to offer the Level 3 Diploma for veterinary nursing, which we are hoping to start running from September.”

Malcolm Watson, chairman of the friends group, said: “The Grade II listed building dates back to the 18th century when it was used as a sheep shearing centre.

“I find it remarkable that now it has been restored and its function has done a full circle and it is now being used as part of an animal centre.”

“We are always pleased to be involved in projects with Northumberland College and the Kirkley Hall campus and we are delighted to see that the money we donated has been put to good use and will help students achieve great things in the future.”