WORK has started on a £1.5 million extension and refurbishment project at a Grade II listed doctors practice in Tiverton.

Clare House Surgery, which looks after more than 10,000 patients every year, is set to get a 4,111 sq ft extension in a bid to take on a larger role in the community.

The additional space will comprise 10 consulting rooms, two treatment rooms and a minor operations room.

The works, to be delivered by Barnstaple-based contractor Morgan Sindall, and project managed by Exeter-based Haldons Construction Consultants, will provide significantly improved premises fit for the 21st Century.

The practice was founded in 1932 and currently has around 40 staff, eight partners and three associate GPs.

The surgery is also involved in medical training. Some archaeological works were undertaken at the site prior to work beginning due to the historical significance of the area. The house was once the site of a religious premises which was destroyed around the time of the siege of Tiverton Castle during the English Civil War.

Linda Bent, business manager at the surgery, said: “We have needed to extend the premises for quite some time, so we are thrilled to see work beginning and are looking forward to seeing it take shape over the coming months. The new extension and refurbishment programme will provide modern, purpose built facilities for the continuing standard of care that patients of Clare House regard so highly.”

The work is due to be complete by this summer.