Revised Atol Regulations, introduced last April, allow an accredited body to hold an Atol on behalf of members so they can sell licensable holidays without the need to obtain their own licence.

Midcounties Co-operative Travel is the seventh body to be accredited, providing Atol protection for more than 50 member agencies.

Group general manager for travel services Alistair Rowland welcomed the news, saying: “We are delighted we have met the CAA’s criteria.

“It is an important endorsement for our expanding business and recognition our procedures are all in place.”

The CAA requires an accredited body to demonstrate “a strong risk management culture” and “control over the activities of its members”, including a “robust process” for accepting new members.

Midcounties is an independent co-operative society, the largest in the UK, and separate from The Co-operative Travel and Midlands Co-operative which formed a joint venture with Thomas Cook in 2011.

The group is looking to expand and Rowland said: “The accreditation will highlight our consortium’s attractions for other members who wish to join us.”

Midcounties Co-op has branches across Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and surrounding counties.