Imperial Tobacco To Close Nottingham Factory
Up to 900 jobs are to be lost under plans by Imperial Tobacco to close factories in Nottingham and Nantes in France.
The company said it wanted to shut both its production plant and distribution centre in Nottingham, which together employ around 540 people - almost a third of its UK workforce.
The move would represent an end to cigarette production in the UK.
Its statement blamed "declining industry volumes in Europe, impacted by tough economic conditions, increasing regulation and excise and growth in illicit trade".
Imperial, whose brands include Golden Virginia and Lambert & Butler, said the Nottingham factory has capacity to make 36 billion cigarettes a year but will only produce 17 billion in 2014.
It said production would be moved to other European factories and distribution outsourced.
The Nantes plant, which employs 320 staff, would suffer the same fate while its research facility at Bergerac was also under threat.
The company said it was working on the proposals with unions.
Chief executive Alison Cooper said: "These projects are an essential part of securing the sustainable future of the business.
"The prospect of job losses is always regrettable and we will be doing all we can to support employees and ensure that they are treated in a fair and responsible manner."
The company, which has 46 manufacturing sites worldwide, closed a cigar factory in Bristol in 2010.