JDA Travel has become the first privately-owned travel business to join Midcounties Co-op Travel’s new consortium.

The Channel Islands Co-operative and Chelmsford Star Co-operative have already joined the group.

John Donnelly, managing director of JDA Travel, and Ben Reid, chief executive of Midcounties Co-operative, worked together at the former West Midlands Co-operative where they launched Holiday Hypermarkets, which was later acquired by First Choice.

Midcounties Co-op group general manager Alistair Rowland said: “We know John Donnelly well, have worked with him and seen how he has innovated and developed his travel businesses. We are really pleased to welcome him to our new consortium.

“John is one of the first to sign up and get the partnership off to a great start. We believe the consortium will deliver what members need and also give them a voice in how it is run.”

JDA Travel, which is based in Burston, Staffordshire, fulfills reward and recognition programmes. Donnelly said: “I have high hopes for the consortium. It is important that independent agents work together to share in the benefits and opportunities that come from a unified approach.”