Former Midcounties Co-operative Travel business development manager Dale Marriott is to open his own travel agency in Manchester on Saturday.

The Travel Hive will be in the suburb of Monton. Its name and logo reference Manchester’s worker bee symbol, which was popularised in the industrial revolution and used as a symbol of solidarity after the May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

Marriott, who left Midcounties in July and previously spent six years as a trade sales executive at Jet2holidays, said he was inspired by his former colleague at the operator, Helen Parry, who set up Arundel Travel in Otley, Yorkshire, in 2017.

He said: “I’ve wanted my own agency for a while. I’ve always worked in travel and have been on the road for the past seven years recruiting new members. After watching so many businesses grow so well, it inspired me to start my own and become my own boss.”

Marriott is recruiting his partner, Philip Lamb, who will learn about the industry for two days a week alongside his role in the NHS, and appointing Becky Burke from Manchester’s Bond Travel on a full‑time basis.

The agency’s shop has been refitted, with doors opening onto the high street so customers can “sit in the sun with a beer or prosecco as they plan their holiday”.

“It’s a quirky, fun place,” said Marriott. “We wanted the shop to be modern, bright and vibrant, so people can start their holiday there.”

The agency, a member of Midcounties Co-operative, will also use My Travel App to offer customers paperless confirmation and documents.

Alison Holmes, head of Midcounties’ Co-operative Travel Consortium, said: “Although Dale is no longer our business development manager, we are delighted that he chose our consortium.

“I am confident Dale will make a success of The Travel Hive.”