HOME Secretary Priti Patel was on hand to celebrate an expanding hair and beauty academy open its new centre.

Stanway MP Priti Patel cut the red tape at Matrix Hair and Beauty's second academy in New Road, Colchester.

The MP was on hand to open the first academy in 2018, with the second centre opening for business last week.

Matrix offers government-funded courses to women from all over Essex to help guide them back into employment.

The courses provide hair and beauty kits, as well as a second chance at finding work or a new career.

After the opening, Priti said: "It is always very pleasing to see a new business grow and expand.

"Matrix have done extremely well to already be opening a second academy, only two years after opening the first.

"I wish them well with the new premises and I shall continue to watch their progress with great interest."

Natalie Worster, who runs the business alongside her husband Kyle, said: "We were delighted that Priti came back to help us launch our second Academy.

"It seemed so fitting that she should be here, having been with us for our first opening.

"Her continued support is very greatly appreciated."