Par­adise work proves hell as bar­bers folds Huge city cen­tre con­struc­tion pro­ject drives cus­tomers away

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ash­ley Preece Staff Re­porter

AONCE-THRIV­ING hair sa­lon in the cen­tre of Birm­ing­ham has gone to the wall as its own­ers claim the Par­adise Cir­cus works have de­stroyed their busi­ness.

Par­lour Hair closed for the fi­nal time last Fri­day al­most a decade af­ter it opened in April 2009.

The hair­dressers was lo­cated in Par­adise Street, op­po­site the Town Hall, and once wel­comed loyal clients from all over the Mid­lands.

How­ever, the mass re­de­vel­op­ment of Par­adise Cir­cus and part of Cen­te­nary Square has crip­pled the busi­ness, so much so that for the past 18 months the own­ers were los­ing up to £4,000 ev­ery month.

Co-owner and direc­tor Phil Gif­ford, 49, told the Birm­ing­ham Post: “It all went down­hill 18 months ago when the de­mo­li­tion started.

“There was just no traf­fic and no free mar­ket­ing on the roads be­cause they were all blocked off. “It’s in a right state around here. “Not only that but they’ve been dig­ging up the road for the new Mid­land Metro lit­er­ally a yard or two away from the shop and that’s still two years away from be­ing com­plet- ed. That’s on top of the Par­adise Cir­cus works. We lit­er­ally had hoard­ings right out­side the sa­lon. We were com­pletely cut off from town.

“It has all just af­fected our reg­u­lar clien­tele and those trav­el­ling into Birm­ing­ham from Broms­grove and Sut­ton Cold­field. It would take them ages to get in be­cause of the knockon ef­fect of the traf­fic.

“They were bat­tling their way in

Iand in the end they gave up, and can’t blame them.

“We’d also run late nights as well but with all the work go­ing on, it kept cus­tomers away be­cause of the home­less peo­ple and drug users gath­er­ing in the tem­po­rary un­der­pass and al­ley­way. We were just made to feel to­tally in­vis­i­ble and we’ve had to call it a day.”

He added: “A top stylist who ap­plied to work here turned it down be­cause she didn’t feel safe leav­ing work in an evening.”

Mr Gif­ford ran Par­lour Hair along­side part­ners Lily Rid­ding and An­thony Pytlin­ski. There were six stylists – in­clud­ing colour tech­ni­cians – and two ap­pren­tice hair­dressers up un­til its clo­sure.

“It was our dream come true to run a sa­lon in town,” added Mr Gif­ford.

“We would have been cel­e­brat­ing our ten-year an­niver­sary in April next year which is a shame.

“In the end some of us were putting our own per­sonal money in to pay the bills off and it all got too much.

“We tried and tried to make it work but I’m just an­gry at Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil.

“Peo­ple have lost their jobs and I’m re­ally sad for them.

“There just seems to be zero sup­port for in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses in Birm­ing­ham. We’re all gut­ted.”

Co-owner An­thony Pytlin­ski added: “I’m ex­tremely sad­dened. I’d never thought I’d be shar­ing this news.

“It’s been very stress­ful. Peo­ple are sup­posed to come here in a peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment and switch off, read a mag­a­zine, but the noise was in­cred­i­bly dis­rup­tive.

“There was only so much we could turn the mu­sic up. Cups of tea were vi­brat­ing and fall­ing off ta­bles. It’s very sad.”

We lit­er­ally had hoard­ings right out­side the sa­lon. We were com­pletely cut off from town Direc­tor Phil Gif­ford

> The Par­adise re­de­vel­op­ment was on Par­lour Hair’s doorstep > Par­lour Hair co-owner An­thony Pytlin­ski

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