The University of Liverpool is to build a new small animal hospital.
Cats, dogs and exotic small animals will be treated at the centre
The £9m hospital will be built in the Wirral, because the current city centre hospital - one of the best in the UK - is too small.
The centre, to be built alongside Philip Leverhulme Large Animal Centre in Leahurst, will include an MRI scanner and radiotherapy treatment.
The hospital will be able to hold more than 60 "in-patients" and employ about 40 members of staff.
The university hopes that, as well as offering pioneering treatment, it will become a world leader in veterinary training.
The hospital is aimed towards domestic pets like dogs and cats, and more exotic small animals.
Specialist vets will be available to carry out advanced procedures like keyhole surgery, and there will be a dedicated anaesthetist on site.
Professor Sandy Trees, dean of the faculty of veterinary science at the university, said: "The new hospital will be one of the biggest for small animals in the country.
"We have been investing heavily in the number of small animal staff and the new hospital will service clients from all over the North of England."
The existing centre on Crown Street in Liverpool city centre will remain open.
Building at Leahurst is expected to be completed by 2006.