Sunderland is back to create a new kind of teaching in old chapel

editorial image

An internationally-renowned hairdresser will bring top stylists to a new training academy in Wakefield.

Gary Sunderland is opening the new facility at the Old Chapel in Alverthorpe.

Mr Sunderland was involved with several hairdressing businesses in the city before leaving to travel the world a decade ago.

He has provided professional hairdressing training around the world, helped judge the North American Hairdressing Awards in Las Vegas and worked at the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in New York.

Now he hopes to provide training and product development advice for hairdressing professionals at the new salon and academy on Batley Road.

Mr Sunderland said: “This is not the normal run of the mill training academy.

“It will be featuring some of the top stylists from the UK, providing education to the professional hairdressing salons throughout Yorkshire as well as the mobile hairdressers.

“There will be courses for professional hairdressers to come here and enhance their skills.”

Young people will also be trained in hairdressing at the Old Chapel, which still has its original stained glass windows.

Mr Sunderland said: “The building came up for let about three months ago and as soon as I saw it I thought, ‘what a beautiful building’.

“I just fell in love with the place and thought it would be a fantastic building for a training academy.

“I have retained the character of this fantastic old building with the original stained glass windows and am looking to reinstate the original plaster mouldings on the upstairs floors.

“Even the original pews are still in place and we will use them as part of the viewing gallery.”

The academy will also specialise in training stylist to work on mixed-race hair.

Mr Sunderland said: “Most people with those kind of hair types go to specialist salons. We’ll be running specialist courses for people to learn how to work with mixed-race hair.

“It is totally different and there is an art form to it.”

The salon is set to open on Saturday, with the training academy expected to be up and running in January.