THERE was good news in Redditch last week as the former Thomas Cook reopened its doors.

The travel agency in Kingfisher Shopping Centre has reopened having been bought and taken over by Hays Travel.

The Redditch shop is among the first to reopen to the public following the high-profile deal.

Customers will spot some familiar faces as all the former Thomas Cook staff in Redditch have been reemployed by Hays Travel.

Jade Mckillup, who works in the shop, said people should not be put off by the Thomas Cook branding that is still in place on the shopfront.

“As you can imagine it’s been a bit of rush so we are still waiting for the new Hays Travel branding to arrive,” she said.

“But we are delighted to be open again and welcoming our customers back."

She added: “Customers will discover the same great service but with some added extras now we are part of the Hays Travel family.

“We have over 500 operators to book including Jet 2.

“Our travel money bureau will be up and running in a few weeks and all new brochures are on their way.

“Please come in and say hi when you’re passing.”

The collapse of the 178-year-old tour operator Thomas Cook earlier this month took many by surprise.

But Hays Travel, which was started by husband and wife team John and Irene Hays from Sunderland in 1980, has since bought the agency’s 555 High Street shops and is gradually in the process of re-opening many of them.

So far it is reported to have offered nearly 2,000 of the company’s former staff a job and reopened 186 of its shops.