Southeast miniple Baldwins Travel has acquired another branch, taking its total to eight.

The independent agency business, which is a member of the Advantage Travel Partnership, completed its purchase of Lewes Travel in East Sussex on Thursday last week after six weeks of negotiations.

Baldwins managing director, Nick Marks, told Travel Weekly: “Lewes Travel has been trading for 58 years and I heard that its owner, Richard Powell, who’s 75, wanted to retire. I called him and said how about Baldwins takes it over, and he agreed.”

Marks said Lewes Travel, which was a Worldchoice member, was based in a highly affluent area which fitted the Baldwins business ethos. Baldwins has branches in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Uckfield, Sevenoaks, Tenterden and Cranbrook.

Lewes will be the most southerly shop in the group’s growing portfolio.

Marks, who was speaking from the Advantage conference on board MSC Cruises Fantasia, said he planned to change the name of the agency to Baldwins Travel Lewes, and had already applied for planning permission to change the fascia, which he said would take about six weeks to come through.

Baldwins will retain Powell’s one member of staff and has transferred a member each from its Tunbridge Wells and Uckfield stores into the new agency “to give it the Baldwins feel”.

Marks said: “This shop has huge potential. It’s right on the high street and yet currently has a tiny turnover. There’s only one other agency in the town and so we are very confident and really excited.

“Being members of Advantage gives us the added bonus of being able to start using all their marketing and advertising materials straight away.”

The only other agency in Lewes is Thomas Cook, Marks said.

Asked if Baldwins was looking to acquire further agencies, Marks said: “If the right opportunity came along then we’d have to look at it.”