A former auction house has been given a new lease of life by an expanding hairdressers.
For nearly 100 years, Featonbys Sale and Auctioneer house had its home in Park View, Whitley Bay, until it moved to North Shields last September.
But now So&So hair salon has taken over, moving from the adjoining property.
Owners Tony and Jenny Foster, who had been running the salon in the town since 2001, decided the time was right to purchase their own premises after years of renting, sympathetically refurbishing the premises.
Tony said: “We outgrew the old salon some years ago and we had been on the look out for a property to purchase within the town for a long time.
“When we heard that Featonbys were moving on it seemed the ideal opportunity for us and we quickly made an offer to buy the property.”
He added: “We were thrilled when the property next door became available as it not only doubled the space available in the salon but it was great that the relocation didn’t inconvenience any of our existing customers.
“Purchasing the premises has been a long-held dream and it’s secured the future of the business and means that we can plan for further growth with certainty.”
So&So, which employs nine staff, was given help by Barclays.
Stewart Blackett, Barclays business manager who arranged the new funding package, said: “It’s so rewarding working with customers to achieve their long-held dreams and support them with not only finance, but guidance and specialist support. Tony and Jenny have developed the business in many areas and the success they are now seeing is a testament to their hard work and commitment.”
Tony added: “We really wanted to stay in Whitley Bay. This building is beautiful, it has given us exactly what we needed to grow our business.”
“We have more than doubled the size of the salon which has given us the opportunity to make jobs available for stylists, colour technicians and trainees in the town too.”