Warburtons plans to close its Giles Foods bakery in Milton Keynes, with the potential loss of almost 220 jobs, British Baker can reveal.

The bakery giant has started a 45-day consultation with workers at the site, which produces a range of own-label products including garlic breads.

The proposal does not affect the Giles Foods site in Warminster

Warburtons said the decision was a result of “significant ongoing challenges facing the business and is despite considerable time and financial investment”.

In the most recent accounts filed at Companies House, which cover the 52 weeks to 26 September 2015, Giles Foods reported a loss before tax of £9.7m on turnover of £22.7m. The business stated it had lost "certain major contracts" over the period.

“After much consideration we have made the extremely difficult decision to enter into a period of consultation on the proposed closure of our Giles bakery in Milton Keynes,” a spokesman for Warburtons said today (20 April).

The company added that all 218 employees had been briefed and that it would work closely with them throughout the 45-day consultation process.

Giles Foods was the first acquisition to be made by Warburtons, which bought the business in 2013.

At the time of the acquisition, Giles produced unbranded baked goods, including garlic breads, dough balls, Danish pastries, tarts and buns, and employed 300 employees across the sites in Milton Keynes and Warminster.