Up to 2,500 Thomas Cook jobs saved as United Kingdom stores bought up

Marco Green
October 10, 2019

MORE than 550 Thomas Cook stores - including the one in Inverness - are set to be taken over by another travel firm.

Up to 2,500 jobs could be saved following the sale of Thomas Cook's chain of 555 United Kingdom travel agencies to Hays Travel, following the collapse of the holiday firm last month.

Melton Borough Council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for growth and prosperity, Councillor Leigh Higgins, welcomed this morning's news.

Some 2,500 jobs from the company's retail division could be saved as part of the sale to Hays Travel.

"It provides re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former Thomas Cook employees and secures the future of retail sites up and down the United Kingdom high street".

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel operator, collapsed into administration in September, leaving 150,000 holidaymakers stranded and putting 9,000 jobs in the United Kingdom at risk.

"It is a game-changer for us, nearly trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people".

Hays Travel has announced it will buy more than 500 stores from recently collapsed Thomas Cook.

He and his wife Irene own the business which has 1,900 staff and past year had sales of £379m, reporting profits of £10m.

In the county, Thomas Cook had shops in Poulton Street, Kirkham; Birley Street Blackpool; Marton Asda; Fishergate Preston; Victoria Road, Cleveleys; Clifton Street, Lytham; and at the Burlington Centre, St Annes.

"We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had - not least its people - and that will put us in even better stead for the future", said Irene Hays.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the collapse of Thomas Cook had been "hugely distressing" for staff and travellers.

The deal could save 555 stores across the country and is a boost for struggling British high streets.

"We will now move swiftly to gather more details about the deal and are seeking an urgent meeting with Hays about the part our union can play in supporting what will be a significant expansion for them across our High Streets", he added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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