THE Thomas Cook travel agency in the centre of Taunton is set to re-open.

Independent travel agent Hays Travel is buying all 555 Thomas Cook shops fropm the Official Receiver, including the outlet in Taunton Fore Street.

Staff who lost their jobs there after Thomas Cook went into compulsory liquidation last month are hopeful of getting their jobs back.

The move by Hays could save up to 2,500 jobs, according to the BBC.

Hays, which has 190 shops nationwide, has already offered jobs to 600 Thomas Cook staff and it plans to hire more.

John Hays, who set up the the company 40 years ago, 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."