A new veterinary surgery is set to open in Newhaven town centre.
Portside Vets will be run by Istvan Makaresz and partner Andrei Danciu. It will focus on care for small animals such as dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs.
Mr Makaresz comes to Newhaven after a four year spell working at Beechwood Veterinary Surgery in Seaford. He said: “We are delighted to be offering this service for people in Newhaven. It means they can find the treatments they need close to home. We are really looking forward to opening and hopefully will be ready to welcome our first patients in about six weeks.”
A two year lease has already been signed on the new surgery being housed in the formerly vacant ‘breakout’ centre but it is hoped the surgery will be able to continue on the premises for longer.
Lewes District Council (LDC) senior sustainability officer Nick Adlam, who informed councillors of the development, said the surgery will help to increase footfall in the town centre.
And members hope this could kick start a programme of renewal for Newhaven. Town councillor Steve Saunders was cautiously optimistic. He said: “While it is good to see the Square and High Street revitalised and new businesses attracted to the town, I have long-argued for the old Co-op store to be brought into use.
“It was successfully utilised as an exhibition space shortly after LDC bought the leases, some years ago. I discussed this possibility at the time, with the administration and officers and consultants. The idea was put on the back burner as there were plans to develop the area. These plans have stalled and may never come to fruition in the medium term although we like to think they could be resurrected. The space is perfect for community use and could easily be opened up for exhibition space; somewhere to hold shows, even art exhibitions. We have some brilliant artists in Newhaven. Town events could be housed there too so wouldn’t need to be cancelled in bad weather. An example would be our future Christmas shopping event. There’s an adjacent car park, existing cafes and some retail needing support. It appears a ‘no brainer’ to both use a vacant building and support the local community. In the meantime we welcome the new veterinary surgery - a great service for the town.”