The builders had 12 weeks to turn a former lifestyle shop and café into a fully functioning fit for purpose Veterinary surgery. Easy some might say? An impossible task say others. But 12 weeks was what they had, and boy did they come good. The place needed a complete electrical overhaul, the formation of 16 new rooms, 23 new doors, new ceilings, 170m2 of new flooring and so many layers of paint that I’m quite sure the decorators will be happy to never set foot in the building again!

With 1 week to go you could have been forgiven for saying we wouldn’t be opening on the 20th. We still had wall finishes and floors to be completed, 2nd fix plumbing to install, computers to set up and all our kit and equipment to fill the rooms with.

The last week of the project showed what can happen when people pull together and was one of the finest examples of teamwork I’ve had the pleasure to have been a part of. We had help from so many people who gave up their free time to help us. Including friends who unpacked hundreds of boxes and found homes for all the essential items that had arrived in way to much packaging, family who scrubbed floors and flattened boxes, Fred who beavered away sorting all the computers, and my dad, who did the second fix plumbing, installed the units and accidentally created more work for himself by falling through the (new) ceiling on the day before we opened (he’s fine, don’t worry!). As it turns out, we needed a loft hatch there anyway.

The final week was not without hiccups from missing kit deliveries to smashing the new x-ray computer screen. But as the week went on it finally looked like it was possible and, as Pizza was ordered in for the last survivors on Sunday night, the realisation dawned that this was not the end at all, but the beginning of something fantastic.

8am Monday 20th May we opened our doors for the first time with an amazing bunch of people who make up our team. We are Bury St Edmunds Veterinary Centre, and we are here to make your pet, our priority.