Barber firm Sovereign Grooming growing network with new Glasgow site

Sovereign Grooming is launching a hair salon and barber school in Glasgow, backed with investment of more than £500,000, in a move it says will help trim back a skills shortage in the industry.

The firm has secured new funding to take over three floors – spanning 2,570 square feet – of Category A-listed 38 Renfield Street, which dates back to the 1890s and is the work of architect William Leiper.

Some 20 jobs will be created initially, with intensive 15-week courses being offered, amid an aim of training 600 barbers over the next decade to counter a Covid-19-related staffing crisis.

Sovereign Grooming boss and Best Barber UK winner Kyle Ross, along with marketing expert Ryan Crighton, also has salons on Union Street in Aberdeen and New Waverley in Edinburgh.

Sovereign Grooming boss Kyle Ross wants to develop 'the best young talent in male grooming'. Picture: contributed.

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He said: “The industry was facing a skills crisis before Covid, and this has been exacerbated by the extended shutdowns the sector has experienced since April 2020. Scotland’s salons need a fresh injection of talent as soon as possible and we are working with partners to deliver the equivalent of an apprenticeship, condensed into an intense, 15-week, full-time course.”

Mr Ross – who is also a two-time winner of Scottish Barber of the Year – will personally oversee the training. Sovereign will offer luxury hair and beard services alongside a “unique blend of male-focused beauty treatments” on the ground floor, with the barber school occupying the basement, and the first floor serving as the group’s HQ.

In April, the business added to its original Aberdeen salon when it opened a flagship store in Edinburgh’s New Waverley development, creating ten jobs in what was also a six-figure investment.

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The businessman says the firm wants to offer 'an accelerated pathway into a brilliant career'. Picture: contributed.

The business has received a fresh round of financial backing from its investors, led by MB Martin & Partners, which specialises in helping high-potential, early-stage companies grow.

Sovereign was advised by CBRE and law firm Aberdein Considine in the Glasgow deal and will open in the city in November.

Paul Jennings, partner and head of commercial real estate at Aberdein Considine, said: “This is the third deal we’ve supported Sovereign on… Innovative brands like this are exactly what our high streets need as they bounce back from the pandemic and we wish them every success.”

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