A 66-year old pub in Gorleston, Norfolk, has reopened as a state-of-the-art small animal veterinary hospital. The Veterinary Hospital and Surgery, part of CVS (UK) Ltd, acquired the pub, the Magdalen Arms, in late 2014, and building work to convert it into a small animal hospital commenced in March 2015. The practice team, headed by clinical director Elissa Norman, held an official opening and open day on Saturday 25 February 2017, with the Mayor of Great Yarmouth Malcolm Bird unveiling a plaque, supported by local 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate. More than 1,000 local people came to have a look round, many bringing their canine friends. It opened for its first patients on Monday 27 February.
The Magdalen Arms was built in 1954 and is listed for preservation thanks to original features including its Dutch gables and the falcon logo of local brewery Lacon’s, which is incorporated into the brick work. Elissa Norman explained: “In recent years we had outgrown our original surgery and it started to become difficult to offer the level of service we wanted to within the space we had.
“We knew that the Magdalen Arms, in addition to being a well-known local landmark, offered all the space we needed, a central location and plenty of parking. The structure of the building made the conversion quite complex but the final result is beyond our expectations and we can’t wait to see the reaction of our clients when they bring their pets to us for the first time.”
She continued: “We now have staff on site with patients 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year, plenty of parking and we can offer full access for disabled clients all of which were a priority for us. The reception area is spacious and inviting, the consult rooms are well equipped and the new cat ward will create a less stressful environment for our feline patients.
Watching this much-loved building take shape as a brand-new hospital with all the facilities we need for our patients, their owners and our staff has been special and I’m looking forward to helping it take on a different role within the community. While the building work is now finished, we have lots of plans to develop the service we offer further over the next few months.
“We are grateful to the Mayor Malcolm Bird and to Jessica-Jane for helping us celebrate the opening of the hospital and it was great to welcome so many local people and show them around as they have been so supportive during the conversion. It is clear that the building holds a strong place in many of their memories but that they are as excited as we are to see the amazing transformation that has taken place. We look forward to serving them and caring for their pets in the years ahead.”
The Veterinary Hospital is based at Magdalen Way, Gorleston, and can be contacted on 01493 661833. The Veterinary Hospital also has a surgery in Lowestoft.