Celebrity hairdresser Patrick Cameron official opened Royal Leamington Spa College’s brand new hair and beauty salons at a special event on Wednesday 11 February where the college was also named a Wella Professionals Centre of Excellence.
Patrick, who is a world leading long hair expert, unveiled a plaque and then gave a masterclass to over 75 guests from local hair and beauty salons, students and staff.
Set over two floors, the new hair and beauty salons form part of the £12m refurbishment of Royal Leamington Spa College. The commercial salon on the ground floor is a showpiece area open to the public and features a large hair salon with nail bars and a retail area for professional products.
Upstairs is home to two large beauty salons and an express treatments area for nails, make-up, eyebrows, blow-drys and barbering. The first floor also accommodates the hairdressing training salon where students develop their skills before moving to the commercial salon.
Opening the salons, Patrick said, “When a facility is so beautiful, like this one, there’s a pride in the students wearing their uniforms, there’s a pride in coming to work, there’s a pride in being involved in such a fantastic space.
“This is the first college – and I’ve been to a lot of them in my career – where I’ve seen a commercial salon right by the entrance, where we’re getting our students ready for industry. Not only is the hairdresser on show, not only is their craft is on show, but their excellence is on show. The students have to be good. I love this concept and I hope this can be rolled out in colleges across the country as it’s very new.
“You must all so proud to belong to a college like this, and I want to wish the students all the success in the world in your future careers. It’s a huge honour for me to officially open the new Royal Leamington Spa College salons – I’m delighted to welcome in a new era.”
Wella Professionals also announced at the event that the college had been named as a “Wella Professionals Centre of Excellence”. Just 30 colleges in the country have been awarded this status, and the accreditation signifies a two-way commitment between the college and Wella Professionals. Wella provide the latest training for tutors so they can pass these skills onto students, keeping them up-to-date with industry trends and there are also opportunities for students to visit Wella’s London and Manchester studios.
Paul Oscroft, from Wella, presented the official plaque to the college saying, “We’re proud to present Warwickshire College Group with this Centre of Excellence, which covers Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby and Henley-in-Arden Colleges. This accreditation is only awarded to institutions that have achieved the highest standards of teaching, have excellent facilities and who demonstrate excellent links with industry. We’re very happy to be working with the college and supporting the students to get the best start in their career.”
Sue Georgious, Interim Principal of Warwickshire College Group said, “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Patrick here today to open our new salons. Events like this really are the best bit of the job – especially when we are announced as a Wella Centre of Excellence too – it’s a double celebration!
“We’re delighted with these new facilities and want to make the most of them. We’ve made sure that these salons are a real working environment for our students, so when they leave us they have all the skills required to take the best possible jobs and opportunities they can.”
Students from across the college got involved, with music students performing in the new college atrium, New Opportunities catering students serving drinks and canapés and Visual Communication students photographing the event.
Local salon owner Rachel Ngombe from Gorgeous Obsession in Stratford gave demonstrations as well as helping Patrick to judge student competitions. For the ‘Great Gatsby’ look competition, Julie Smith from Henley-in-Arden College and Jackie Scriven from Royal Leamington Spa College were judged the winners. For the ‘total look’ competition, Finlay Maxwell and Beth Rush from Rugby College were chosen by Rachel and Patrick as the winners.
To celebrate the launch, there are a number of special offers running at the salons including a manicure and pedicure for just £10. To find out more, go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/salons.