More than 200 jobs are set to be axed at Hovis’ Leicester factory.

Hovis told workers at its bakery in Rushey Mead that it was planning to close the site, which will affect 204 members of staff.

British Baker understands that Hovis is planning to close the plant by the beginning of 2015. The company has begun its 45-day formal consultation period with workers.

A Hovis spokesperson said:

“Hovis has today announced the proposed closure of its Leicester bakery. The proposal is part of the simplification and transformation of the company’s bread manufacturing operations which aims to improve efficiency, quality and customer service. 

"Hovis will continue to be produced in the company’s other 9 UK bakeries.  The company has commenced consultation with 204 potentially affected employees at the site in Thurmaston, Leicester.”

Hovis currently operates 10 bakeries, including the Leicester premises, as well as six flour mills and two distribution centres.

In January, Premier Foods unexpectedly sold a 51% stake in its bread business – including the Hovis brand parts of its milling operation.