Barrhead Travel has hired five ex-Thomas Cook staff for its latest store, in Liverpool.

The Allerton Road branch was officially opened by Hollyoaks actor Alex Fletcher on Tuesday, December 17, after a soft launch on Saturday.

The branch, which will have experience areas, named its official charity partner as local hospice Claire House.

It comes less than a week after the independent agency opened its Burnley branch, which was the first of a wave of 20 shop openings planned by the end of March 2020.

Barrhead Travel now has 85 stores across its retail network: including 39 with Barrhead Travel above the door and 46 of its managed service travel partners operating on the high street under different names.

Its longer-term plan, announced since the collapse of Thomas Cook, is to open 100 new high street stores.

More: Barrhead to open 20 new stores by March 2020

Barrhead Travel opens new store in Burnley

Manager Chris Cooper, one of the former Thomas Cook employees – who have a combined 120 years’ experience in the industry – said: “Having the opportunity to open a brand-new store with a leading travel company is very exciting.

“Plus, being able to have my original team beside me on this journey makes me incredibly proud and honoured to be working for Barrhead Travel.

“We are looking forward to seeing and welcoming not only our loyal customers back in store but new customers also in the area as well as connecting with local businesses.  This is an exciting time for us all.”

Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel added: “I am thrilled to welcome Chris, Angela, Elaine, Natalie and Hayley to the Barrhead Travel family as our first store in the Liverpool area.

“The opening of the store reflects our unwavering commitment to the high street travel agency; investment in bricks and mortar has been at the heart of our strategy since we opened our first store in 1975 and we will continue to place focus on the physical customer journey by combining experiential technology and genuine expertise from our local teams.

“We firmly believe that the demand for an experienced and knowledgeable travel agent is still on the rise as holidaymakers seek first-hand sound advice and guaranteed financial protection for their well-earned getaways.”