Tobacco giant to axe 285 jobs in shake-up

Imperial Tobacco today announced plans to close its last factory in Bristol - part of a restructuring programme set to cost 285 jobs in the UK.

The company, which has made tobacco products in the city since 1901, will transfer cigar production to Spain with the loss of 75 jobs. Its Nottingham plant, which produces cigarettes for the UK and Irish markets, will be restructured with the loss of 210 jobs.

The closure of the last tobacco factory in Bristol ends more than 220 years of tobacco production in the city.

In the 1970s Imperial Tobacco employed 6,000 staff in Bristol and operated three factories in the city, but with the closure of the cigar factory just 225 office jobs will remain in the city’s headquarters.

Andy King, curator of industry at Bristol Museums, said: “Up until the 1960s, the tobacco industry has been very important to the city’s economy but since the 80s I’ve seen one tobacco factory after another close down and now they’re all gone.

“The tobacco industry wouldn’t be where it is today without Bristol, so news that tobacco will no longer be produced here is a big loss to the city.”

Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth largest tobacco company, said it would still be retaining its headquarters in Bristol and planned to create 25 new central support jobs.

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