A SCOTTISH firm has become the latest to throw a lifeline to former Thomas Cook staff in East Lancashire.

Barrhead Travel has opened up a new branch in Burnley's Charter Walk shopping centre as part of their expansion plans.

And the Glasgow-based company has hired six former members of staff who worked at Thomas Cook, ahead of their planned opening on Wednesday.

The half dozen have been undergoing intensive training with their new employers at their academy in the Scottish city, as they come the 81st location in the Barrhead Travel group.

Jolene Alexander-Smith, who will head up the new Burnley operation, which can boast a combined 116 years experience in the trade and is pledging to cater for everything from city breaks and cruises to long-haul holidays.

She said: "After working with Barrhead Travel over the past few weeks, I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to be working alongside my fantastic team once more.

"We are all delighted to be booking customers – existing and new – on their holidays for 2020 and beyond.

"We know that our community in Burnley will love the Barrhead Travel experience as much as we do."

Jacqueline Dobson, Barrhead's president, added: "The opening of the store reflects our unwavering commitment to the high street travel agency.

"Investment in bricks and mortar has been at the heart of our strategy since we opened our first store in 1975 and we will continue to place focus on the physical customer journey by combining experiential technology and genuine expertise from our local teams."

The store would be the first venture into Lancashire for the wider company, whose nearest other branches are situated in Liverpool and Barrow.

Former Thomas Cook staff at Colne were among the first to be rescued locally, as part of the deal which saw Hays Travel snap up hundreds of sites which used to be run by the beleagured travel giant.

The Market Street branch had reopened to customers by the end of October.

Travellers are still waiting to see when Hays will reopen the former Thomas Cook outlets at Blackburn Mall and Accrington's Arndale shopping centre.