A NEW branch of the UK’s fastest-growing independent travel agency has opened its doors in Rochdale creating six new jobs.
Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd and the Deputy Mayor Councillor Billy Sheerin were among the VIP guests for the official opening at the new Hays Travel store on Yorkshire Street, which is part of Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre.
Around £70,000 has been spent on transforming the unit which includes a Bureau de Change.
It is the 33rd branch for Hays Travel North West as the travel firm forges ahead with a major expansion scheme with the aim to have 50 stores in total within the next 18 months.
Hays Travel Rochdale manager, Kimberley Fazackerley, is a mum-of-one originally from Blackpool and now living in Ramsbottom, who has worked in the travel industry for 20 years.
She said: “The new shop is beautiful and our customers coming in have been very impressed with how it looks.
“We have been given a really warm welcome since opening with lots of people coming in from nearby shops to say hello.
“I think people are pleased to see a new independent and reputable company like Hays Travel opening up and I know we will be able to offer them a terrific range of holidays from different providers and tour operators so we can work with customers to find the best holidays which suit their budget.
“In just the short while we have been open, we have already made some good bookings and I think this is going to be a busy shop.”
The Deputy Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Billy Sheerin, said: “It’s been a pleasure to officially open the new Hays Travel in Rochdale. It’s a boost for the community to have an independent travel agency with a respected reputation move in to the town and the new store looks smart and professional. Seeing a new business such as this opening in the heart of Rochdale is very positive.
“The new team working there have been extremely welcoming and are clearly very knowledgeable. I wish them every success and I know they will be warmly welcomed by the people of Rochdale.”
Councillor Sheerin’s positivity was echoed by Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd who said: ““It is great to see Hays Travel open a new store in the town. It gives a new opportunity for the people of Rochdale but also shows confidence in Rochdale’s reviving town centre”.
Lorenzo O’Reilly, Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre Manager, said: “It’s the perfect time of year for Hays Travel to be opening its doors here at the centre. I’m sure the team will be kept busy with people keen to book new year getaways to escape the winter weather. The travel agent offers a huge range of affordable holidays which will really appeal to our shoppers.
“We are delighted to welcome Hays Travel to Rochdale Exchange and we wish them all the best for 2019.”
Hays Travel North West was founded by managing director Don Bircham, a father-of-two, who set up his business with a single travel agency in Mold town centre, North Wales, in 2000.
His network of travel agencies are now the main partner of the hugely successful ATOL-protected Hays Travel, based in Sunderland, which has just announced a turnover of more than £1bn and is the UK’s largest independent travel agency.
At the end of last year, Don’s firm announced a turnover of more than £70m for the first time and they have branches across North Wales and the north west.