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Deal agreed to buy former Thomas Cook shops

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There is new hope this morning for Thomas Cook staff in West Norfolk who were left out of work by the collapse of the travel firm.

Hays Travel, which has branches in Downham, has agreed a deal to buy all 555 former Thomas Cook stores.

The shops, including its branches in Lynn and Fakenham, shut when the company went bust last month.

The Thomas Cook shop in King's Lynn is shut following the firm's collapse (17298682)
The Thomas Cook shop in King's Lynn is shut following the firm's collapse (17298682)

Official receiver David Chapman said: "This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company’s assets."

Hays has already recruited more than 400 Thomas Cook staff and has offered work to more affected personnel.

Jim Tucker, Partner at KPMG and Joint Special Manager of Thomas Cook’s Retail division, said: "This is an extremely positive outcome, and we are delighted to have secured this agreement.

"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 UK high street.

"We are pleased to have achieved this in a short time frame and in the context of a complex liquidation process, which is testament to a lot of hard work from a number of parties.

"Over the weeks ahead, we will work closely with Hays Travel and landlords to ensure a smooth transition of the store estate."

John and Irene Hays, Managing Director and Group Chair of Hays Travel Limited, said: "Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them."

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