AN international barber to the stars is set to open a new purpose-built barbering and hairdressing academy to prove that East Lancashire youngsters are the cut above.

Joseph Lanzante, who is originally from Italy, took over the Men’s Room in Clitheroe six years ago and set about training up apprentices who were already working in salons.

Joseph, 55, will open the new facility in Clayton-le-Moors on Wednesday after deciding to make available 12 to 14 week courses to unemployed 16-19-year-olds.

His King Street salon counts soap stars among it’s regulars and has also served former Manchester City stars Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, along with former Blackburn Rovers ace Kevin Gallacher.

The new Walmsley Court acedmey features two full-time teachers who will guide youngsters through the course which will see them gain work experience in a salon and be given the chance to win an apprenticeship.

Dad-of-one Joseph, who employs five people at the Clitheroe Salon, said: “I think it’s very important to try and give young people the chance to train on the job and gain valuavble experience.

“We are keen to see those who don’t have a job to come in, earn some money, and gain experience that they can take to the next level.

“Before I moved to Clitheroe I ran a chain of 12 salons in London and I have received great support in the last six years.

“There is a shortage of barbers and hairdressers in the country and that’s something that I’m trying to address.

“The teachers at the academy are very good and the students will be given great instruction on the trade.”

An open evebing will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at the Joseph Lanzante Academy from 6pm to 8.30pm. For more information call 01200 425559 or e-mail