A PRIME empty York city centre retail premises is set to get a new lease of life.

The unit, just outside the city walls at 13, Bootham, on the corner of Bootham and Gillygate was occupied by bookmaker Betfred until last year but has been vacant since then.

Now London hairdresser Laura Shackleton is poised to open Dogobees Eco Hairdressers, an eco and vegan friendly hair salon in March.

Originally from Whitby, Laura has been in the capital for the last seven years managing salons in Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and, most recently, Chelsea, but she is set to finish work there on February 26 and is going back to her roots.

She said: "I have always managed salons for other people.

"I have loved living and working in London for the time I have been here, but the plan was always to come back to North Yorkshire at some point and to get a salon in York.

"It's a dream of mine to open my own eco-friendly salon.

"As an industry, hairdressing is so wasteful and I want a salon where even the smallest things are kind to the planet - like using foils that can be washed and recycled.

"I want somewhere where you can still have your perfect colour and cut without the guilt damage it's causing to our planet."

Laura said that her brother is a builder and carpenter and has been busy making much of the interior fixtures and fittings with a view to opening the salon sometime in around the middle of March, if all goes to plan.

Working alongside Laura, there will be three other stylists and two juniors.

Even the name, Dogobees is a nod to Laura's eco-friendly principals, being a blend of dog - because Beagles are often used to test cosmetics and bees, because, as Laura says 'bees are the most important creatures in the world'.

To get in touch with Laura about job opportunities in the salon email her: dogobees@outlook.com

Laura said: "I have already had some really nice responses from people on Instagram (dogobees_hair), which is great and I can't wait to open."