Thomas Cook Telford and Shrewsbury branches saved - but Oswestry to close

The Telford branch of travel giant Thomas Cook was this afternoon spared the axe, as the firm looks to shut branches across the UK.

Thomas Cook to axe 2,500 jobs and shut 195 stores
Thomas Cook to axe 2,500 jobs and shut 195 stores

The company, which also owns Co-operative Travel, revealed yesterday that it is to close 195 of its high street travel agencies.

But it has now said that the Telford town centre store will remain open, as will its outlet in Shrewsbury’s Pride Hill and its Co-operative Travel outlets in Wellington and Oswestry.

However, one Shropshire agents will face the chop – the Oswestry branch of Thomas Cook is to be closed as part of the restructuring exercise, which is also aimed at slashing costs.

Having recently shut 149 stores, Thomas Cook will be left with 874 travel agencies across the UK and Northern Ireland.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents employees, said it was “shocked and angry” at the job losses.

As well as shutting stores, the UK’s second-biggest travel company has trimmed its airline fleet and sold off hotels after it was forced to turn to its banks for an additional £200 million of loans in 2011.

Thomas Cook’s group-wide boss Harriet Green announced aims to cut a £100 million in costs last November, with £40 million coming from its airline business and an extra £35 million being saved by stripping out “duplication” in its structure.