An independent business in Gorleston has closed its doors after more than two decades on the High Street.

Fusion Hair Consultants closed for good on Saturday after 25 years on the town's main commercial thoroughfare.

Managing director Kevin Huggins said the changing business landscape of hairdressing, accelerated by the Covid pandemic, and rising utility costs were among the reasons he and his wife Tanya decided to call it a day.

"The lease was up on the shop, and we were offered a renewal, but I'm at an age where I didn't really want to start a new one," said Mr Huggins, 68.

"Unfortunately, the hairdressing market has changed now. It's more about self-employment than it is about employing people."

Over two decades, the salon has trained more than 100 people. But Mr Huggins said Fusion had lost 19 stylists during the pandemic, with many people opting to work for themselves.

"It gets to the stage where you train people up and they become your competitors," Mr Huggins added.

"We've had four trainees on. But it's a big unit to fill and things were made more difficult by the rising costs of utilities, so we decided to call it a day."

READ MORE: Gorleston: Fears for high street as Wilko set to close

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Fusion Hair Consultants in 2021. Picture - NewsquestFusion Hair Consultants in 2021. Picture - Newsquest (Image: Archant)Mr Huggins said there had been talks of handing the business over to a new operator, but the deal fell through.

Director Tanya Huggins will continue hairdressing and some training from home. Mr Huggins, who has been working for 54 years, said he intends to retire. But with animals at home and golf to be played, he has got plenty of things to keep himself busy.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Kevin Huggins (right) with former employee Jessica Whiteman inside the salon. Picture - James WeedsKevin Huggins (right) with former employee Jessica Whiteman inside the salon. Picture - James Weeds (Image: James Weeds)Mr Huggins said he is sad to be leaving the High Street and will remain chair of the Gorleston Traders Association.

He added: "It's sad for the High Street, but it's like the old saying 'use it or lose it'.

"I wouldn't let the Traders Association go. And the Christmas light switch on is still something I'm very passionate about.

The closure of Fusion Hair Consultants comes as several national chains have recently left the commercial heart of the town, including Barclays and Wilko.

Boots is scheduled to close its Gorleston branch in November.