A CANCER survivor has opened a new tattoo shop in the heart of Highbridge.

Coping Studios in Church Street opened to the public on May 15, offering colourful body artwork from a team of two artists.

Business owner Sam Scott, moved into the shop earlier this year, and has spent the past five months transforming the site into the town’s newest ink-provider.

Sam, who has been tattooing for more than 10 years, suffered from cancer five years ago and said he was inspired to open the store by his passion for art and a lack of business in Highbridge.

He said: "I have always liked art and have been tattooing for about 11 years now.

"I saw that this shop unit had been empty in Highbridge for a while so I thought it was the perfect place to open a tattoo shop.

"I have lived here all my life. Highbridge has been on the decline for the past few years and I think it is really important to support local business and get more business into the town.

"People can get any tattoos they want done here but I enjoy doing portraits and Japanese inspired work.

"We are also displaying work from local artists in the shop as I think it is important to show off the talents of creative people in Highbridge and Burnham.

"We had a few customers on opening day and I am looking forward to the future."

Sam runs the shop with his friends, Kez and Dave Dancy, and Kez said the Coping Studios will be hosting events throughout the year to raise money for Somewhere House Somerset.

She said: "We are supporting Somewhere House at the shop, it is a fantastic charity which offers support to people with mental health problems. 

"We all know that there is a stigma around mental health and all of us here have dealt with mental health problems in the past.

"We want to let people know that this charity is there to support them and that there are places you can go to get help.

"On May 30 we will be doing £15 tattoos to raise money for the charity and we would love to see as many people come in as possible."