A York hairdresser with 30 years' experience has opened her first salon - all because of Covid.

Loretta Cater, 46, said she was only able to open her salon, Capelli, because of a Government Bounce Back loan she received during lockdown.

The hairdresser, who began her career aged 15, worked at Fenwick, West Row, Kudos, Harvey Nichols and Michael Andrews before opening her salon in Clarence Street in August.

During the national lockdowns, Loretta was unable to work, but because she was self employed was able to apply for a Bounce Back loan.

York Press: Inside the new salonInside the new salon

Loretta said: "Covid allowed me to get a Bounce Back loan and I would never have been able to afford to open my own salon without it."

Loretta said she borrowed £10,000 through the loan scheme and added money she was saving to buy a house to start up for herself.

She said: "It feels so nice to have my own salon - and to create a lovely environment for people to come to work in - and have their hair done."

Loretta is looking for two stylists to join her at the salon.

She has also rented rooms out to a make-up artist, Charlotte Wright, and a nail technician, who are offering treatments on the premises too.

Loretta - a former pupil of Joseph Rowntree School and All Saints School - says she has come a long way since beginning in hairdressing aged 15.

York Press: Loretta Cater working at Regis in Fenwick in 2000Loretta Cater working at Regis in Fenwick in 2000

She said: "I started as a Saturday girl in a shop, then I trained at Regis in Fenwick, where I became an artistic director and did shows and trained teams all across the country."

Besides a stint at Harvey Nichols in Leeds, she has spent her career working in salons in York.

Capelli, which means hair in Italian, is located near York Hospital and Loretta says she will offer 20 per cent discount to NHS staff who can show their NHS card.

The salon is open Tuesday to Saturday.