Building work starts on new £2.7 million veterinary referral centre set to create up to 70 jobs

Building works have started for a new £2.7 million veterinary referral centre in South Tyneside expected to create up to 70 jobs over the next two years.

By Hayley Lovely
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:11 am

Bridge Referrals Ltd will provide veterinary services for small animals in the North East from its new hub at Boldon Business Park, in Boldon Colliery, as work has begun on the new centre.

Planning permission for the centre was granted at the start of the year and, once complete, the practice will comprise of six consultation rooms and four theatres, featuring the latest state of the art technology, from CT scanners and x-rays, to MRI machines.

The referral centre will have expertise across a range of disciplines and referrals to the site are expected to include orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, oncology, internal medicine and diagnostic imaging.

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From L to R Iain Kennair, Project Manager at Bridge Referrals and Pebble, Dan Miller, Site Manager, Brims Construction and Sarah Harrison, Director and Veterinary Ophthalmologist and Ernie.

It is expected the centre will open by November, covering not just South Tyneside and surrounding areas, but also the wider North East, including Northumberland and Teesside, and even further afield, such as the Scottish Borders and North Yorkshire.Up to 70 jobs ranging from highly specialised veterinary roles to nursing apprenticeships for school leavers will be created within the first two years of operation.

Sarah Harrison, Director at Bridge Referrals said: “It took us several months to find the perfect location for Bridge Referrals and accessibility was a key factor in making this decision. We saw there was scope for a new veterinary referral centre in South Tyneside as a central location in the North East, with excellent transport links including direct access to the A19, as well as bespoke space to create a hub.

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South Tyneside Council were extremely open and excited about our concept and offering, supporting our journey every step of the way, from initial plans to planning permission. This is a complex project, with several stakeholders and we’ve received support from a range of organisations. We want to say special thanks to those who have helped us along the way.

“We have ambitious plans for the veterinary centre, but ultimately we just want to bring the best possible service and experience for our clients and their animals across the North East and our new home at Boldon Business Park will allow us to do just that.”

Cllr Mark Walsh, who until this week was cabinet member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome this exciting venture to the borough, and I’m pleased that the council has been able to support Bridge Referrals throughout the process.

“With ambitious plans, and the potential to create scores of high-quality jobs, this business will be a real asset to South Tyneside and I look forward to watching it grow and evolve.”

Bridge Referrals offers advanced veterinary services from experienced referral clinicians to primary care veterinary practices in the North of England and Southern Scotland. Bridge Referrals is owned by families local to the area.

To stay up to date with building works progress, job updates or other information about the project visit