THE boss of a well-known town-centre salon has spoken of her "heartbreak" at having to leave the premises where the business began more than four decades ago.

Hairavanti was founded in Cavendish Street, Keighley, by brothers Nino and Pietro Risidi in 1979, and grew into an award-winning integral part of the business community there.

But Nino's daughter Stefania Risidi, who now runs the salon, says a rent hike has forced it to move out.

The business is currently operating from temporary accommodation in Cavendish Court, Lawkholme Lane, until it can relocate to a new permanent home.

"We were faced with a 25 per cent rent increase – with a review in three years," says Stefania, who took over ownership of the salon in 2018.

"I refused the review, but did reluctantly agree to the rent rise, although I felt it was excessive.

"The landlord offered to take out the review but with a further addition to the rent.

"There were some ongoing negotiations, however all above the 25 per cent figure.

"I was devastated that we weren’t able to agree on feasible terms, and had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave Cavendish Street. It’s where my family started the business. We had so many happy years there and had recently extensively renovated the premises."

She adds: "My immediate concern was for my business, the team and our customers. As word spread about our situation, offers of help and support poured in. I was blown away by how the community rallied round to help us. I can’t express how grateful I am."

A spokesperson for the landlord told the Keighley News: "The tenant had been benefitting from considerably reduced rent, which was well below market rates, for six years.

"Market forces are such that we wouldn't be able to sustain the rent at that level. It just wasn't realistic to do so.

"The tenant was given relevant notices, but chose not to speak to us directly.

"And she declined to have a rent review included in the lease.

"When she said she was leaving, it came as a surprise.

"It is unfortunate and sad to see her go."

Hairavanti was a finalist in last year's Keighley & Airedale Business Awards, in the Creative Services Business of the Year category.

And it has previously been named the town's Hairdresser of the Year.