A HUSBAND and wife team have opened a new vets’ practice employing more than 10 people.

Chris and Sam Devlin set up Vetsmiths with the help of a £440,000 development loan from Lloyds Bank.

The couple made the move to open in West Borough, Wimborne, following the sale of Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen, where Mr Devlin had been a joint owner.

The couple say they spotted a gap in the market for a high street veterinary centre in Wimborne.

They signed a lease on a 2,900sqft unit which would give the business room to grow.

The development loan from Lloyds funded the renovation of the building, which consists of three consultation rooms with an operating theatre and laboratory.

Sam Devlin said independent ownership would be the key to the success of the business.

She said: “Chris and I have lived in the area for many years and recognised the need for a high-street vet practice that not only looks after the pets but supports families across our local community.

“The development of the practice is fundamental to this, and we have invested in state-of-the-art equipment, including modern imaging equipment such as digital X-rays, ultrasound and a dedicated dental X-ray to ensure we can offer a first-class service,” she added.

“Preparing for our new business venture during the pandemic wasn’t without its challenges but the team at Lloyds Bank has been by our side throughout the process, and their knowledge and expertise in our sector really helped to guide us through.”

Sharon Hillier, healthcare relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Pet owners have an incredible bond with their animals and they want to be reassured that they’re getting the best care available from people they can trust.

“Vetsmiths is an exciting new business with the opportunity to grow and expand as it supports pets and their owners across Wimborne.

“I wish Chris and Sam every success and look forward to watching the business go from strength to strength.”