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Delightful Dunham Massey Hosts Christmas Trail For 5th Year

THE countdown to Christmas has started as the National Trust's beautiful Dunham Massey welcomed hundreds of visitors to the opening of its glittering illuminated trail, on Thursday. The magical mile long meander returned for a 5th year, with a dazzling array of artists' creative installations set to wow crowds throughout the festive period. The trail boasts more than a million twinkling lights, colourful trees and amazing illuminated installations, all choreographed to a soundtrack of much loved seasonal classics, transforming Dunham Massey's majestic gardens into a winter wonderland. Christmas at Dunham Massey in numbers:-

Years at location - 5.

People involved in putting on the 2021 show - 24.

Christmas Cathedral length - 30 metres.

Mirror balls in the Mirror Ball moment - 20.

Lit roses in the Rose Garden - 150.

Fire Candles per night - 150.

Fabulous Flowers in the TILT Flower Garden - 26.

Christmas at Dunham Massey provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience. The trail is designed for visitors of all ages and is accessible to all to enjoy. Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist to tasty treats on offer. Have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with:- toasted marshmallows, a spiced winter warmer or hot chocolate, shared with someone special. For information about COVID19 and booking tickets with confidence visit:-  MyChristmasTrails.Co.UK. Tickets are very limited, book soon to avoid disappointment.  Christmas at Dunham Massey is brought to you by Sony Music in partnership with the National Trust. The trail is created by Culture Creative.

FSB responds to Northern Powerhouse Rail announcement

THE Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has described the Government's decision on Northern Powerhouse Rail as:- 'deeply disappointing' and a 'body blow' for the levelling up agenda. Paul Wareham, North West Regional Policy Chair for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:- "Confirmation a significant section of HS2 and; and more importantly for many; the East West Northern Powerhouse Rail connection between Manchester and Leeds, aren't going ahead fully, is deeply disappointing. Small firms right across the country were banking on both these projects delivery; and was something we have been promised for very nearly a decade. To say this feels like the rug had been pulled is an understatement. This is really is a blow for the North, and raises valid questions about the how serious the Prime Minister really is on the levelling up agenda, and again raises the question of what the Northern Powerhouse actually is? For many businesses, Northern Powerhouse Rail was central to the plan, joining up our major cities and providing the big, economic centres of the North with additional, faster links, freeing up capacity for freight lines, and reducing the reliance on our over stretched road networks across the Pennines to reduce our carbon footprint. Many today will be rightly asking whether what's on the table now will deliver anything like that. There also remains some big questions over the 'new' scheme being proposed. Whichever way you cut it, it's a watered down project that's gone from 1st to second class. We need some guarantees and assurance it doesn't become 3rd class in the years ahead. From the little we know today it sounds like this new plan will come with its own unique problems too, which are likely to see massive disruption for existing rail users; and in some cases even further delays to high speed rail connections than the original plan. Clarity on that is needed."

Michael Franks Hair Salon wins inaugural LGBTQ+ Business Awards

LIVERPOOL'S multi award winning Hair Salon, Michael Franks, has won yet another award; this time the Diversity and Inclusion award at the inaugural LGBTQ+ Business Awards. The prestigious award, sponsored by Liverpool FC and The Metro, was hosted by Owen Drew at Thornton Hall Hotel and was presented due to the ethos and ethics of the company.

Michael Franks was formed in 2017 and has since risen to the top of the Salon Spy rankings in Liverpool. The reason for their success is due to a few things; excellent customer service, quality and attention to detail, but the key to their popularity and the reason they have won the recent award is the way they go about everything they do.

At the heart of everything Michael Franks does is diversity and inclusion; forward thinking and doing what is right and fair. In addition to having 2 wonderful salons at Liverpool 1 and on Wood Street in Liverpool, Michael Franks has been leading the light by not discriminating against people for their gender.

Michael Franks offers premium quality hair treatment and styling whilst pricing based on hair length not gender; meaning that women don't pay more due to their gender. The staff are also trained to never assume gender and both salons ensure that the range of staff are experienced enough to be able to cater for all types of people and hair.

In addition to not discriminating based on gender, Michael Franks don't discriminate against age when employing people; investing in the training of older stylists and enabling young people to be Senior Stylists. They are also mindful of religion and have a private room available to those who can't show their head for religious reasons. They are disability friendly too and also offer cancer sufferers free treatments through the Hair Reborn charity.

Following the awards ceremony, Director Michael Franks said:- "We're thrilled to receive the Diversity & Inclusion Award at this fantastic ceremony. It's nice to be recognised, although in our eyes we're just doing what we think is right. When we set the business up, we wanted to have the right ethos at the heart of everything we do and diversity and inclusion is a key part of that. We're big on treating people right; both our staff and the customers; but that's the way it's supposed to be. I think the hair industry has picked up some bad habits over the years and it's important to remember how people feel when you can't accommodate them or charge them more than someone else with the same type of hair. It's all about making sure the staff are educated and have the right attitude."

Michael Franks himself is a top stylist and educator, whilst also being an LGBTQ+ advocate; pioneering new policies to create a positive and fair salon culture. Michael has worked for the likes of NBC, the Irish Prime Minister and top sports stars, whilst the brand has won multiple awards such as Best Salon In Merseyside and the L'Oreal Colour Trophy.

Michael Franks is revered as 1 of the best salon brands in the UK and is a key part of London Fashion Week and is a Kevin Murphy Session Stylist, whilst being regularly top of Salon Spy in Liverpool. The Michael Franks staff are very attentive and always listen to the customer; making sure the cut is exactly what they want.

The recent award is testament to the sterling work of Michael Franks and its staff; yet another award to add to the many they already have. Diversity, inclusion and treating people right is at the heart of everything they do and their salons are also very green and environmentally friendly. A fantastic forward thinking brand leading the way in the industry, if all salons operated like Michael Franks the world would be a much better place.

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