THE former Thomas Cook store in Ulverston has officially re-opened to the public as Hays Travel.

The store, which is based on Market Street, was shut for more than a month before relaunching as the indepedent travel agents.

The family-owned agency bought 555 stores and rescued up to 2,500 jobs from Thomas Cook after the holiday company’s dramatic collapse in September.

Hays Travel offered a lifeline to all of its Cumbrian stores which closed, including: Kendal, Ulverston, Barrow, Workington, Whitehaven, Carlisle and Penrith.

However, none of the staff members from the former Thomas Cook store in Ulverston have transferred to the Hays Travel business.

New branch manager Ryan Rankin said the team were all offered new positions at Hays Travel but had found other employment.

He said: “We have a whole new team starting at the Ulverston Hays Travel branch.

“The former Thomas Cook staff members were offered new jobs but had all moved on to different employment.”

Mr Rankin, who previously worked as assistant manager of the Hays Travel store in Barrow, said the transition was a ‘great move for the travel industry’.

“Hays Travel offers customers a lot more options for holidays,” he said.

“There’s lots of different operators which we work with to provide a range of holiday types and prices. Our aim is to find customers the best holiday we can.”

Since opening on Tuesday, Mr Rankin said the response from the community had been ‘hugely positive’.

“Lots of people have came in to wish us luck,” he said.

“It’s gone down really well and I hope it's a successful venture for the town.”