FORMER Thomas Cook travel agency branch in Colwyn Bay is set to be reopened by Hays Travel in the coming weeks.

The store located on Station Road was closed when the company collapsed last month. But all 555 branches of the company have been acquired by Sunderland based Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, who have announced their intention to re-open all the branches.

Prior to the take over Hays operated 190 shops across the company, and employed just under 2,000 people.

A spokesperson for Hays travel said: “All the branches in North Wales have been acquired from Thomas Cook.

“We will be reopening the ones in Colwyn Bay in the coming weeks, but this is a process which will take a little time as there is a lot of work to be done, but we are getting on with it.

“We are hoping to re-employ as many of the former Thomas Cook staff as we possibly can, and our recruitment team is working flat out.”

Hays Travel is a private company, jointly owned and managed by managing director John Hays and his wife Irene Hays, who set up the firm 40 years ago.

The travel company said it plans to reopen the shops under its own brand as soon as possible and has already recruited former Thomas Cook employees is making offers to other former Thomas Cook staff.

Cllr Goronwy Edwards, Conwy County Borough Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for economic development welcomed the news of the purchase.

He said: “It is very welcome news indeed that Hays Travel has come forward with their proposals.

“Obviously it was as great shock when Thomas Cook collapsed and it looked as though staff were losing their jobs.”

Cllr Edwards added: “Hopefully as many staff as possible will be re-employed in the branches in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay and also across Wales generally.

“If these branches had been closed permanently they would be greatly missed obviously because of the staff who would have lost their jobs, and also by the customers who have used them.”