Cigarette production at Imperial Tobacco’s last remaining UK factory is set to cease any day now as the manufacturer prepares for the implementation of the European Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD).
The new law will ban the production of all cigarettes in packs of less than 20 and roll your own (RYO) tobacco in pouches of less than 30g.
The 48.5-acre site, which historically has produced Lambert & Butler, Embassy, Regal and JPS, will stop manufacturing products imminently and the site will be put up for sale. The factory currently employs 320 people who now face unemployment.
“Our current tobacco product production for both the UK and other EU markets will cease prior to the scheduled 20 May 2016 EUTPD implementation date,” a spokesman told Convenience Store.
“The Nottingham factory produced virtually all of our UK cigarette products and packed virtually all our RYO products. Production of these products will latterly switch to other Imperial factories in Germany and Poland.”
“A decommissioning team of around 70 employees will begin work in June to prepare the site for sale,” he added.
At one stage, around 7,000 workers were employed at the site, which had the capacity to produce 36 billion cigarettes a year.
It was announced in April 2014 that the factory would close in May 2016.
The spokesman said: “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 only other remaining factory left in the UK is run by Japan Tobacco International in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, but this is also set to close by 2017.