Mick Whitley, MP for Birkenhead, hailed yesterday’s opening of Bell’s Hair and Beauty Training Academy on Argyle Street as another example of the town’s regeneration.
Academy founder, Terri Bell, has created a great addition to the town’s growing reputation for flair, innovation and social enterprise.
Mick said at the event, “I am delighted to be at the opening of Terri’s fantastic academy. I want to thank Terri for investing in the future of Birkenhead and its young people. Her decision to open this academy in the centre of Birkenhead is a vote of confidence in our town and its prospects.”
Bell’s academy is bringing vitality and hope to Argyle Street. Back in the day, this was a street brimming with life and entertainment. It was the site of the Argyle Theatre until it was bombed during the war, and later the ABC cinema – both bringing people and cash to the businesses that lined Argyle Street and nearby Market Street.
Terri’s new venture is a key part of today’s regeneration of Argyle Street – another step in the direction of a new, proud and regenerated Birkenhead.
Mick added, “I want to salute Terri’s commitment to providing such fantastic support for students who struggle to realise their potential at school. The academy came about because of Terri’s passion to create opportunities for such young people. Too many youngsters are judged too early and condemned as ‘no-hopers’ when they have barely been given a chance to express or develop their full range of talents. Terri doesn’t buy that approach to education.”
Through her family, Terri has a very real insight and personal experience of how young people can struggle in mainstream education.
Inspired by seven years working for Cornerstone – who deliver alternative education in construction – Terri realised that there was a gap in Wirral for someone to provide similar training in hair and beauty.
In a short space of time, she has turned her idea into reality. She has won a grant from UnLted – the foundation for Social Entrepreneurs – and refurbished a fantastic site in central Birkenhead let to Terri by Wirral Methodist Housing.
The business began in mid-September and already has 14 students on its books and has recruited two staff. It’s going from strength to strength and most importantly local young people are getting opportunities they couldn’t access through mainstream education.
They can develop meaningful skills and experience in an industry where they can build successful careers.
Yesterday’s official launch was a celebration of these achievements and Mick Whitley said, “Terri’s students can keep the people of Birkenhead looking even more beautiful. I am thrilled to be part of today’s opening. Thank you, Terri and the very best of luck going forward.”