High street travel agency chain Premier Travel has opened a new store after acquiring Wish You Were Here Travel.

All five shop staff have been retained following the acquisition of the store in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, for an undisclosed sum. The owner sold the shop to pursue other business interests.

The agency was rebranded Premier Travel this week.

The chain now has 18 Premier Travel-branded shops across East Anglia, three franchise branches in the south of England, and a homeworking division.

Director Paul Waters said the Cambridge-based group did not have a set target for high street shops, but added: “Our growth is opportunity driven.”

The move comes as the group carries out a refurbishment programme across all its shops, putting foreign exchange booths in each branch as well as security alarm systems and new desks 
and computers.

“We have taken a fresh look at our shops,” said Waters.

“It will take a couple of years to refit them all, but so far we have refitted seven branches.”

The company, which includes tour operation Premier Holidays, plans to move to more modern premises in the summer and is using the move as a catalyst to change the ethos of the business.

Group manager director Susan Papworth said: “We are looking at the move as a testbed to change the culture. We are bringing a lot of change to the business. It is a fun place to work, but we are trying to make it more cutting edge.

“We want to keep the younger staff enthused.”

A beach pod and a palm tree will be introduced in the call centre, while the business is also starting an apprenticeship scheme.

The two-year scheme aims to offer successful apprentices a permanent job.