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Valli Opticians opens new practice in Slaithwaite

Valli Opticians told OT  about the factors that went into deciding to open a new practice in Slaithwaite, Huddersfield

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Valli Opticians has celebrated the opening of a new practice in Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, in what has been a “completely new experience” for the independent practice group.

The new site increases the Valli Opticians portfolio of practices throughout Yorkshire and the North West. Other local practices in the Huddersfield area include Meltham, Honley, Almondbury, Netherton and Lockwood.

The practice will offer private and NHS eye examinations, as well as emergency eye care appointments under the Primary Eyecare Acute Referral Scheme (PEARS), in addition to cataract and glaucoma appointments.

The practice specialises in myopia control for children, as well as visual stress, and will provide a contact lens service. The new practice will also provide an audiology service.

Announcing the opening of the practice in December, the team thanked neighbouring businesses in Slaithwaite “that have really made us feel welcome, and we look forward to being part of this wonderful village for years to come.”

OT heard from the team at Valli Opticians about the opening of the new practice and why this site marks a new venture for the group.

What does it mean for the team to have opened this new practice?

Christine Wrenn, head of operations at Valli Opticians (CW): Valli has grown through the acquisition of existing businesses so a start-up practice is a completely new experience for us. Starting with designing the practice from scratch, choosing a fresh product range to suit the demographic, recruiting a new team who all live locally but who are able to deliver the really high quality service we are known for – it’s all been challenging yet extremely rewarding.

Moin Valli, managing director of Valli Opticians (MV): On a personal note, Slaithwaite is my local village and I have seen it develop and thrive over the last 15 years. I’m really looking forward to contributing to my local community and economy.

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How long has this been in development?

MV: Slaithwaite is a beautiful Yorkshire village, in Huddersfield, with amazing views of the Colne Valley. It has direct train services to Manchester and Leeds, and easy access to the M62 motorway. All the key factors are there for growth and development so it’s not a surprise to me that over the last few years more and more amazing independent businesses have been popping up. We have kept a close eye on it for the last three to four years and it was about finding the perfect location. When the local Yorkshire Building Society closed down, it was the ideal spot for us and we moved quickly.

CW: We got the keys for the premises on 14 September 2021 and our official opening was 29 November – an 11-week turnaround, which took some doing. Anyone doing any building work recently will know that all trades are booked up at the moment and most supply chains are slower, so it’s a huge testament to everyone involved that we managed to complete this project so quickly.

Why is now the right time for the new practice?

MV: We are always looking to add more practices to the group but only if they are right for us. They have to fit into our values of providing high quality local eye and hearing care, and our ethos of caring for the community. As a family business that also believes in employing locally, we strive to make a positive impact on our surrounding area. The right time for us is more about when this type of opportunity comes along.

Pictured L-R: Josette Musgrave, practice manager, Heather Mowat, optical adviser, Christine Wrenn, head of operations, Sarah Duckworth, optometrist, Moin Valli, managing director.