THE Worcester branch of Thomas Cook is set to re-open under its new name after the firm's high street stores were bought out.

The Worcester News previously reported how the Thomas Cook branch was closed following the collapse of the 178 year-old firm.

Customers and staff were seen in the store on October 14, and it is understood that the store will be fully operational in the next few days once the computer systems and shop branding are in place.

The Thomas Cook Livery still sits on the wall of the building however, and it is due to be replaced by branding from Hays Travel, the retailer that announced it would buy 555 high street branches of Thomas Cook, potentially saving more than 2,000 jobs.

The 178-year-old Thomas Cook folded on September 23 after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal, leaving around 150,000 passengers stranded abroad.

Hays was founded in County Durham 40 years ago and reached £1 billion in sales last year.

When the firm bought the Thomas Cook branches, founder John Hays said: “It is a game-changer for us, almost trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people. We are looking forward to welcoming many more people who share our passion for the travel industry, into our family business.”

Jim Tucker, partner at financial firm KPMG, said: “This is an extremely positive outcome, and we are delighted to have secured this agreement. It provides re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former Thomas Cook employees, and secures the future of retail sites up and down the UK high street. We are pleased to have achieved this in a short timeframe and in the context of a complex liquidation process, which is testament to a lot of hard work from a number of parties.”