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Hays Travel is closing for good

Travel company Hays has confirmed its Spalding branch will not be re-opening when pandemic restrictions are lifted.

The Sunderland-based firm bought Thomas Cook when it collapsed in October 2019 and a review of operations was due this year.

The Market Place branch of the company will be one of 88 shops to close from its total of 534 across the country.

A spokesman for the company said the lease on the premises would not be renewed.

She added that options for staff are currently being looked at.

Customers can still contact the company by phone and online as staff are currently working at home.

The company said the third national lockdown and travel ban has led to major holiday operators suspending bookings and it had to act.

“We are continuing with our robust two-year business plan and continue to be ready for the bounce back when it comes,” said chief operating officer Jonathon Woodall.

Owner and chair of the company Dame Irene Hays said: “It was always our intention to review the performance of our shops at the end of the licence period – we had hoped the business would bounce back in January and it has not.

“We have done everything we could to safeguard jobs and the business thus far, and we have come up with a range of options for those at risk of redundancy to help as many colleagues as we can.”

The company currently employs a total of 7,700 people. All but one of the shop closures will be former Thomas Cook shops.

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