Middlesbrough Herald & Post

Coming on leaps and bounds

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A SALTBURN couple who both lost their jobs when SSI UK closed have leapt into a new career, thanks to their daughter’s passion for ballet.

It seemed like the “end of the world” for Anne-Marie and John Tyler, when the family was dealt the devastatin­g blow of losing TWO incomes in one go.

The couple had clocked up 17 years at the Redcar steelworks between them - but their redundancy turned out to be the “start of a new and exciting adventure”.

John set up a plastering business at first, but it was daughter Amelia’s love of dancing that gave him his lightbulb idea - portable “pro-stretch” equipment and ballet barres for use by dancers on the go.

Now the couple is manufactur­ing their products with a local engineerin­g company, and has a growing base of customers.

Amelia, a budding ballerina who has won a scholarshi­p to a Birmingham school, had complained there was a lack of good equipment for practising at home.

The “pro-stretch”, an adjustable mount for stretching muscles, was born - and interest from fellow dancers and a local dance shop soon followed.

Anne-Marie, 37, said: “The response to the pro stretch and ballet barres has been fantastic and I’m really pleased to be in a position to launch the website and reach a much wider customer base.

“It seemed like the end of the world when we both lost our jobs but it has been the start of a new and exciting adventure.”

Anne-Marie worked at SSI for more than 12 years in different department­s including HR, records, facilities and the visitor centre while John, 44, worked for five years as a shift fitter engineer.

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