Business

Hays Travel will close three of its eight branches in Lincolnshire, after the COVID lockdown and travel bans have delayed progress for the travel firm.

The company, based in the North East of England, will close 89 of its 535 shops after a review into performance in recent times.

Three Lincolnshire stores will be affected by these closures: Grantham, Spalding and Boston not reopening once their leases expire.

However, branches in Lincoln, Sleaford, Skegness, Grimsby and Stamford will be some of the 83% of Hays stores that will stay open.

A total of 388 staff will be affected by the closures across the country, around 5% of the 7,700 people employed by Hays Travel.

It comes after Hays Travel bought fellow travel firm Thomas Cook in 2019 in an attempt to expand business.

A third national lockdown and subsequent travel ban forced the company to act and make the difficult decision to close branches.

The closures are part of a two-year business plan set out by the company in order to “be ready for the bounce back” from the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for Hays Travel said the company is doing all it can to protect any staff affected by the closures.

“We are now  discussing a number of options for alternative work for all staff at those stores.

There are other Hays Travel stores near and all customers continue to be looked after by staff working from home via phone, zoom, FaceTime and other means during lockdown.”

A former shoe shop with over six decades of history in Lincoln will transform into a new takeaway if plans are approved by City of Lincoln Council.

Brian Rose on Boultham Park Road closed in March 2019 when the namesake owner retired after 60 years, having worked in the shop since he was just 14-years-old.

Meryem Erol of Skegness submitted a planning application to the city council last week to change the use of the vacant shop to hot food takeaway.

The takeaway would be situated next to Premier Stores and will be called Rixos.

Proposed elevations. | Photo: Heronswood architectural design

It has not yet been publicly revealed what type of takeaway it will be, but it is understood Meryem Erol is one of the owners of Nemrud Pizza House in Skegness.

Since its launch in 2017, Grants4Growth has supported more than 250 Greater Lincolnshire businesses to grow. Now, the ERDF-funded programme is helping SMEs across the county to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an expanded eligibility criteria that allows more businesses than ever to apply. 

The local funding scheme, administered by South Holland District Council, provides grants of up to £25,000 to help small-to-medium-sized businesses purchase capital equipment and machinery. In the past, SMEs have used the funding towards everything from printers to CNC machines, cement mixers, drones and specialist video equipment, and more. 

These purchases have helped businesses to increase capacity, improve productivity, create new products and exploit new markets, as well as add new members to their workforce. However, COVID-19 has rapidly changed the business landscape and negatively impacted many SMEs, causing declining profits, supply chain issues and redundancies. The expanded criteria means that SMEs can buy the assets they need to adapt, protecting jobs and sustaining their business.

Justin Leckie, Project Manager of Grants4Growth, said: We believe that is it just as important for Lincolnshire businesses to have the assets they need to continue trading as it is to grow.

“That’s why we have updated our criteria to allow SMEs to purchase equipment and machinery that can help to safeguard jobs and future-proof their business.

“We still have £747,000 in funding for Lincolnshire businesses to claim, and we promise a yes or no answer within two weeks.”

Is your business eligible? Visit the Grants4Growth website to find out: https://grants4growth.sholland.gov.uk/ 

+ More stories