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Optometrist acquires practice and plans for expansion

Gemma Hill plans to employ a graduate optometrist and add a second testing room

Gemma Hill
Optometrist Gemma Hill (pictured) has acquired the Renfrewshire-based practice that she works at with support from a £225,000 funding package from the Bank of Scotland.

Ms Hill is now the sole owner of the independent, Forde Opticians, which provides NHS and private eye examinations, contact lens consultations and dry eye treatments.

Speaking about the acquisition, Ms Hill said: “I’ve always wanted to buy my own practice, but it can be tough financially so early in my career. Despite only graduating four years ago, having the Bank of Scotland by our side has meant I’ve been able to take the reins of my own practice and start planning ways to grow the business.”

The practice currently employs three members of staff, including one optometrist and two receptionists. Ms Hill intends to employ a graduate optometrist from September 2020 and expand into a second practice room to increase the patient base.

“My plan is to introduce a graduate next year and train them up, similar to my own experience. It’s not simply about expanding the business in terms of finances and introducing new technology over the coming years, but also nurturing the next generation of talent,” Ms Hill explained.