WHEN Middlesbrough hairdresser Emma Jenkins went for a tattoo she had no inkling it would lead to a shot in the arm for two businesses.

But since that day six weeks ago she has been in discussions with local husband and wife tattoo artists Gary and Hannah Willmott about sharing premises.

Now they are looking to a bright future for their businesses – Emma’s salon Jenks and Gary and Hannah’s Tag Tattoo parlour – together under one roof at Hemlington’s Middlesbrough Council-owned Viewley Hill Shopping Centre.

The official opening of the new dual use premises will be performed by Hemlington ward Councillor Nicky Walker, herself a long-term user of the salon.

Emma, who has owned and run Jenks for 13 years, said: “I had gone for a tattoo in Acklam and mentioned I had some space as it’s a big salon.

“Gary and Hannah came up the next day to have a look and then the rest happened really quickly.

“We are all getting on brilliantly and it’s working out really well. Both businesses are helping each other out – one of my ladies came in for a haircut and walked out with a tattoo and a couple of their clients have decided they may as well have their hair done while they are here.

“Most importantly though it’s bringing more business to the area. We are a real community and all help each other out so this should help all the businesses here.”

Hannah Willmott said: “We originally opened up in Coulby Newham but when we met Emma we were in Acklam.

“We always wanted to come back to south Middlesbrough and this was the perfect fit. We absolutely love it here and it’s where we want to stay.”

Praising the new joint venture, Hemlington ward councillors Cllr Nicky Walker and Cllr Jeanette Walker, said: “This is fantastic news for Hemlington. The increased footfall will benefit not just the salon and tattoo parlour but the whole business community in the Viewley Hill Shopping Centre which in turn is good news for everyone.

“You can feel the buzz about the place already and we’re sure it will only go from strength to strength.”