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Deal agreed for travel firm to purchase former Thomas Cook shops

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There is new hope for Thomas Cook staff in Sudbury, who were left out of work by the collapse of the travel firm.

Hays Travel has agreed a deal to buy all 555 former Thomas Cook stores.

The shops, including its branch in North Street, Sudbury, shut when the company went bust last month.

Thomas Cook in Sudbury...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (18939517)
Thomas Cook in Sudbury...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (18939517)

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 Hays, managing director and group chairman of Hays Travel Limited, said: "Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them."