“People would almost give up their own meal to make sure their pets are looked after – they are a crucial part of the family.”
That’s the view of Ed Hill, a director of Thrums Veterinary Group, who is confident his sector will be resilient during a recession.
That is why the Angus-based veterinary group is confident in investing £200,000 on setting up a new practice in Scone.
Thrums Veterinary Group currently operates from Kirriemuir, Forfar and Blairgowrie.
Strong demand from across Perthshire for the firm’s Blairgowrie branch led the firm to examine a second surgery in the area.
The company has now started a 14-week refurbishment of the former Honeypot Nursery on Perth Road.
“Blairgowrie has seen real growth over the last couple of years, with people travelling from Scone and Perth to go there,” said Mr Hill.
“Following some research we decided to open a branch in Scone to provide the care that we pride ourselves in giving to the pet owners of Scone and surrounding area.”
Thrums has been in operation for more than 60 years but Scone represents the firm’s first new practice in more than a decade at a time that few businesses are embarking on major projects.
The L-shaped former nursery building is going through a complete refurbishment and will have the latest operating and diagnostic facilities.
It will open later this year with a couple of vets, but would have room to accommodate four vets along with associated admin staff, nurses and assistants.
Around two-thirds of Thrums’ business is small animals, 5% equine and the remainder farm animals.
The Scone facility will be a small animal practice only.
Thrums has five directors, all of whom are practising vets.
“There has been a lot of corporatisation of the veterinary sector over the past decade,” Mr Hill added.
“The clients we deal with appreciate we’re independent.
“Over the last few years we have really focused on building a culture of care for our staff and for our customers and we recognise that’s why we have been winning more market share locally.”
Help support quality local journalism … become a digital subscriber to The Courier
For as little as £5.99 a month you can access all of our content, including Premium articles.