Barrhead Travel has appointed Andrew Mackie to head its homeworking and franchise division as it plans to branch out into England.

Mackie takes on the title of commercial director, homeworking and franchise. He joins the Scottish gravel group from The Co-operative Travel in Newcastle.

Barrhead currently has 15 franchise outlets in Scotland and Northern Ireland and plans to add five more across the UK.

Mackie’s role will be to develop Barrhead Travel in England, and to “substantially” increase the number of franchises and homeworkers.

Barrhead chief executive Sharon Munro said there could be further announcements about new appointments shortly. She claimed the company was a “safe harbour” during “turbulent times” in the travel industry.

She said: “As an independent agency, we have a lot to offer those who are unhappy or unsettled with the way multiples channel the customer through the sales process – they are not necessarily meeting customers’ requirements.”