New travel agencies have been opening across the country, including the first in one town for 23 years, a motorcycle speedway specialist and a
store opened by a Coronation Street actor.

Freedom Travel Group member Platinum World Travel opened on Saturday as the first agency in Coleford, in the Forest of Dean, since 1996 – on the site of a former shoe shop.

Founder and director Arron Mitchell has 20 years’ industry experience and has been a homeworker for the past two, with Travel Counsellors and Barrhead Travel.

MoreMiles Morgan Travel to open 16th store

Hays Travel opens its sixth branch this year

“I’ve gleaned the best of everyone I’ve previously worked for and put those elements into my own business,” he said.

“I wanted to open on the high street to gain more credibility and more of an edge.”

Mitchell has decked out the shop solely with products bought from local independent businesses and employed two ‘travel designers’.

Ex-STA Travel agent Alun Chapple has set up Maitland Travel from his home in Charlton Down, Dorset, and specialises in motorcycle speedway.

“I’ve always been a fan of speedway, and wanted to be my own boss,” said the 27-year-old, whose parents met at a speedway race. The agency is named after Maitland, a city near Sydney, Australia, which hosted the world’s first official speedway event in 1923.

Chapple previously commuted to Southampton to work at STA. The Travel Trust Association member will also sell cruises and short breaks.

Actor Alan Halsall – aka Tyrone Dobbs from Corrie – was guest of honour at the opening ceremony of Jetz Travel in Leigh, Greater Manchester, on Saturday.

The independent in Spinning Gate Shopping Centre, set up by husband and wife Donna and Nick Brooks, is part of the Midcounties Co-operative. Donna was a business development manager for Sandals Resorts, having worked as a holiday rep, and Nick is an accountant who, along with Donna, has travelled widely.

MoreMiles Morgan Travel to open 16th store

Hays Travel opens its sixth branch this year