COLERAINE Scan Centre - Northern Ireland’s first independent MRI clinic based at Dunhill Road - is the latest victim of the economic slowdown closing its doors after eight years, The Coleraine Times can reveal.

Opened in 2003 to great fanfare and grant supported by Invest NI, the centre’s 2,761sq ft property is now up for let with commercial property agents, McAfee’s.

The Scan Centre, which also housed North Coast Physiotherapy, was owned and run by Michael Wilson, a partner in the Ivan Wilson Group of businesses based at the same site.

At one stage carrying out hundreds of scans a week and serving both private customers and NHS trusts, the centre was based on a common US and European model and offered referred patients both north and south of the border a scan and report within seven days.

Before its closure this month, the clinic had been used to cut waiting times for MRI scans in Ulster hospitals for a range of conditions including breast cancer, joint problems and back pain.

Originally employing three radiographers, the centre’s closure has also forced the relocation of North Coast Physiotherapy.

Speaking to The Times this week, North Coast Physiotherapy owner, Adam Wilson said he was disappointed at having to leave after seven years at the site.

“For me it was a perfect location, easy car parking for patients, everyone generally knew where it was being on a main road out of Coleraine. I had built up a considerable client list over this time and was extremely disappointed at having to relocate,” he said.

“Thankfully I have managed to source premises within Lodge Health Medical Practice and am looking forward to a great working relationship with the GPs there”

He added: “I am definitely sad to see the Scan Centre closing as it supplied a very valuable service. I know that Michael felt very passionately about the service he was providing and did everything he could to keep it open.”