Blackpool hair dresser cuts to the chase for a new beginning

L-R Gillian Oates and Chloe May from Gill's Unisex Salon
L-R Gillian Oates and Chloe May from Gill's Unisex Salon
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Problems with the electricity and the landlord putting up rent had one Blackpool busiensswoman pulling her hair out.

But hairdresser Gill Oates got a little bit of help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service and a move to new premises and now aims to be a cut above the rest.

Gill’s Unisex Salon on Caunce Street, run by 29-year-old Gill, has reopened after a major refit and has invested in new staff members.

But just one year ago the business was struggling in premises that were beset with problems and it was facing an uncertain future.

Help was at hand though and Gill teamed up with Blackpool Council’s Get Started service - part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

She managed to find alternative premises not far from her old building and with Get Started’s help and ongoing advice obtain a loan from the Start Up Loan Company to finance the move.

Gill said: “I had a healthy client list and an excellent reputation but needed to find the right premises to grow and expand my business.

“I was fortunate to find the team at Get Started who provided practical as well as ongoing motivational support.

“I feel I have created something special and am proud to offer opportunities to the next generation of hair stylists and beauty therapists in Blackpool.”

Gill said she believes in giving youth a chance having started work herself as a 16 year old.

She approached Blackpool and The Fylde College and has provided employment for two young trainees, Chloe Mays, 21 and Glen Jenkins, 24, who are studying for level 3 qualifications in hairdressing and barbering.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Gill has benefited from the support of the team and is giving youth a chance in her business. This story shows the ongoing advice and support and assistance the Get Started team offers throughout the life of a business and not just at the start.”