Hays Travel
Outside Hays Travel at the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.
Rebecca Wayman

Hays Travel opens latest branch in Sunderland following Thomas Cook takeover

A new Hays Travel branch has opened at a former Thomas Cook unit in Sunderland.

Among the 555 units taken over by Hays Travel is the shop at Sunderland’s Bridges shopping centre, which is now ready for business.

When Thomas Cook went into administration in late September, it was a huge blow for the travel industry, leaving thousands of people out of work and numerous holidaymakers without their vacations.

However, Hays Travel has now taken over numerous Thomas Cook branches - with over 1,500 former Thomas Cook employees back in work.

Andy Bradley, centre director at the Bridges, said it was fantastic news not just for the city, but for the country as a whole.

“It’s brilliant news for former Thomas Cook stores up and down the UK, but it’s particularly brilliant for Sunderland because Hays Travel is such a huge part of the local economy,” he said.

“It’s a massive Sunderland success story which has been - deservedly - recognised across the country for saving jobs and supporting the high street.

“Given its track record, there’s no doubt at all that Hays Travel will continue to flourish and we are delighted that we are able to welcome them into the Bridges.”

The new Hays Travel at the Bridges is now welcoming customers, having created four jobs initially, including two previous Thomas Cook staff members.

Jane Schumm, retail and training director at Hays Travel, added: “We’re absolutely delighted that the ex-Thomas Cook shop at the Bridges is one of the first to re-open as Hays Travel. Sunderland shops will always be extra special for us.”

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