THE Galashiels branch of Thomas Cook has been given a glimmer of hope.

Hays Travel has agreed to take over all of the firm's 555 stores.

The Sunderland-based travel company has already employed 421 members of Thomas Cook staff since it went out of business last month.

And it is hoped the Channel Street store will reopen following the takeover.

Founder John Hays 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.

"We are looking forward to welcoming many more people who share our passion for the travel industry, into our family business."

The 178-year-old Thomas Cook folded on September 23 after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal.