Phil Nicholas in Stanningley: Leeds barber shop reopens 10 months after drink driver smashed into premises

A Leeds barber shop whose premises were wiped out by a drunk driver has opened its doors again after a ten-month rebuild and refurbishment.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 10:01 am

Phil Townend, who founded Philip Nicholas barbers eight years ago, is welcoming customers back to his premises on Bradford Road, Stanningley.

it has been closed since an Audi smashed into it during a police chase in the early hours of Thursday June 17, 2021.

Police patrols had spotted a black Audi A4 in Richardshaw Road, Stanningley, and signalled to the driver to pull over. But the driver failed to stop and drove off, eventually crashing through the window then fleeing the scene.

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Jimmy Wegg, barber and Phil Townend, owner and barber, outside the rebuilt and refurbished Philip Nicholas barber shop in Stanningley

A man was later arrested on suspicion of drink driving, failing to stop and assault of police officers.

He was taken to hospital and was found to have serious injuries. He was later banned from driving and given a custodial sentence.

“It’s been ten long months since the accident,” said barber Phil Townend.

“We’d only been open six weeks after the third lockdown when the car went through our shop frontage in June 2021. The damage was extensive, the ceiling had to be propped up and the collision also took out two internal walls.”

The aftermath of the incident.

Following the horror smash, local business owner Steven Lightfoot from Pudsey Computers started a JustGiving appeal for the two businesses housed in the premises, Philip Nicholas barbers and Creating Utopia tattoo studio, which raised over £3,000.

Phil added: “The money raised made a huge difference and allowed us to get through those first few challenging weeks, where we didn’t know if the business could survive. Madison Offices on Richard Road in Pudsey offered us a space for free for the first few weeks and we were there for ten months! We are so grateful to them, and to Steven, for what they did, coming to our rescue in our hour of need.”

“We are so excited to be back in our barbers’ shop, concluded Phil. “It’s been fully reconfigured and has a totally different look and feel. It will take our clients' experience of the barber shop to another level. We’re looking forward to welcoming customers, old and new, back to our rightful place.”

Jimmy Wegg, barber and Phil Townend, owner and barber, inside the rebuilt and refurbished Philip Nicholas barber shop in Stanningley