16-17 NOVEMBER 2023

Portfolio Events
15 Aug 2018

The Veterinary sector in the UK

Access to funding and appetite for investment

Nearly two thirds of practice owners polled find it a challenge to access the funding they need to invest in their businesses. In contrast to other professions where the appetite for investment is high, only 35% plan to actively seek finance for business investment in the next 12 months; a further 48% won’t be investing while the remaining 17% are still undecided.

These results challenge the commonly held view that there is a strong appetite to lend from all major funders and with so many Veterinary practices feeling the challenge of accessing funding it’s clear that it’s a mixed picture out there.

Q: Thinking about access to funding, is it….

A major challenge - 17%

A minor challenge - 48%

Becoming easier - 9%

Never had a problem - 22%

Don't know - 4%


Economic outlook

Veterinary practices in the UK are best described as ‘cautiously optimistic’ about their prospects for the coming 12 months, with 35% ‘confident about the steady recovery of the economy’ and a further 35% feeling that while the worst is behind us, albeit with a slow path to recovery ahead. Over a quarter of Vets polled are yet to see a true recovery, which is the highest figure of all the professions. 

Looking at forecasts for anticipated business performance, around a third (35%) are hoping to expand. A higher number (39%) are expecting to tread water with a sizeable minority of 17% predicting a scaling down of their operations; as many as one in 10 expect to close down altogether.

Q: How do you expect your business to perform over the next 12 months?

Expand - 35%

Stay the same - 39%

Contract - 17%

Close down - 9%


Business priorities 

Paying down debt is the highest priority for 30% of the UK’s Veterinary practices, which is the highest of all professions; ‘achieving growth’ comes second followed by ‘standing still’

Q: What is your main business priority at the moment?

Achieving growth - 26%

Paying down debts - 30%

Standing still - 17%

Developing products/services - 13%

Investing in staff - 4%

Investing in equipment / assets - 9%