Travel agency jobs at all six former Thomas Cook shops across the Fylde coast are set to be retained under a rescue package.
Hays Travel, based in the North East, is acquiring the entire retail portfolio of 555 former Thomas Cook shops after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver.
Former Thomas Cook employees were back in the St Annes branch on Wednesday and the shops at Birley Street, Blackpool, inside Asda at Marton and at Cleveleys, Lytham and Kirkham are set to follow suit shortly.
Andrea Earnshaw (pictured inset), Thomas Cook branch manager at St Annes until the company’s demise, confirmed that she and four colleagues had returned to the shop in St Annes Square and hoped to be fully operational in the coming days.
“I’m delighted my team, Carolyn Markey, Becky White, Emily Lyons, Kerry Williams and myself have returned to the Thomas Cook St Annes branch under Hays Travel.
“We couldn’t be more delighted. It was a terrible shock when Thomas Cook closed and we never imagined at that stage we would be reopening as a team. We want to thank everyone for their support.”
Area manager Claire McCooke added: “Staff are back in St Annes and the intention is for the other local branches to follow as soon as possible.”
Hays Travel opened its first shop in Durham in 1980 and is jointly owned by managing director John Hays and his wife Irene Hays, chairman of the Hays Travel Group.
John said: “It is a game-changer for us, almost trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce .”