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A travel agency saved following an administrative agreement

Leger Shearings Group (LSG) has reached an administration agreement, which will see the Rotherham-based escorted tours company acquire the Arena Travel brand and assets.

Arena Travel, which has offices in Market Harborough, began operations on Friday September 23 with a simultaneous transition to new ownership. The deal will see LSG acquire the landmark travel and tourism company’s database, web domains and social media pages, spanning all of Arena Travel’s divisions and sub-brands.

As part of the agreement, the fifty permanent employees will retain their jobs under TUPE regulations on the protection of employee rights. All bookings have been financially protected and LSG is allowing customers to continue their vacation as planned, so customers don’t lose out.

Arena Travel’s three offices in Market Harborough, Buckingham and Nacton, Suffolk will be taken over by LSG.

Arena Travel, which has been in business for over 45 years, is well known for its river cruise holidays and specialist escorted holidays, including rail and bridge holidays. Craft holidays are organized under the Stitchtopia brand and cultural and garden tours under the Boxwood and Art Pursuits brands. The company also has a music and events division with Elvis, Memphis and Germany Tours and organizes unique events in partnership with the band’s Queen fan club.

Leger Shearings Group CEO Liam Race said: “I am very pleased that Leger Shearings Group was able to acquire Arena’s assets and more importantly protect jobs in these difficult times. We offer all customers the opportunity to take the same vacation they booked with Arena Travel.

“The companies share some similar products, including an excellent selection of UK tours and river cruises, but Arena’s highly specialized holidays will add a new premium dimension to our current portfolio.”

Arena Travel Managing Director Steve Goodenough will remain in the role and he said: “Arena Travel has been long established and pre-pandemic was very successful, but has emerged from covid battered and bruised. Our plan was to have a year of recovery, however travel disruptions have affected all aspects of the industry, from delays at ports, to flight and baggage disruptions, to low water in European rivers and this took its toll and the business became untenable.

“I am delighted to be working with Leger Shearing Group to rebuild the business, with the support and security of a much larger company, which shares Arena Travel’s quality service value. I am particularly pleased that the vacations our customers have booked will still take place, without interruption or financial penalty.

In June 2020, Leger Holidays acquired the assets of former competitor Shearings after parent company Specialist Leisure Group went into administration. The Léger Cisailles Group was created in January 2021.