By Samantha Lewis
The former Thomas Cook travel agent in Horsforth has reopened with the new owners, Hays Travel, rehiring all the staff.
After the collapse of Thomas Cook last month, an independent company based in Sunderland, Hays Travel, moved quickly to announce that they would take over and reopen all the travel agent’s stores in time for Christmas.
Out of 555 stores across the UK – 58 of them in Yorkshire – 236 are so far back up and running.
The staff in Horsforth were happy to hear that they could return to their jobs and have had strong support from customers.
A Hays Travel spokesperson said: “The employees were clearly very relieved to be able to have their jobs back and have been overwhelmed by the support and good wishes from customers and the public”.
The Horsforth store on Town Street, which opened last Tuesday (October 14), took just six days to open and for the staff to be back at work as usual.
Tracy Malpass, manager of Hays Travel, said: “It’s been a rollercoaster for us and we are grateful to be back to help our old customers”.
Since opening, Hays has had success with existing customers and taking new bookings.
Facilities manager and property surveyor Jake Wilde, 36, of Victoria Close, heard about the takeover through social media and contacted Yorkshire Voice as someone who had worked as a resort manager for Thomas Cook until 2008.
He said: “I was disappointed when I heard of the collapse of Thomas Cook…It was amazing how the whole community pulled together, especially with job fairs and job placements for many of the staff who were looking at losing their jobs.”
Mr Wilde added: “This travel shop has been part of Horsforth high street for most of my 35 years, from when it was Going Places, then to Thomas Cook, and now Hays. It’s a positive that it gets to remain.”
Hays Travel is continuing to reopen stores and as of going to press on October 21, has so far offered 2072 jobs to Thomas Cook staff.