Pork Farms is to close its factory in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and transfer production to Nottingham so it can still make Melton Mowbray pork pies if they are given EU-protected status.

A decision on whether the Melton Mowbray pork pie gets Protected Geographical Indication status is expected to be made by the European Commission early next year.

Pork Farms said that, following a six-month strategic review of the cold pie sector, it had decided to move production to Nottingham because, unlike the Trowbridge site, it was within the 1,800 sq mile zone outlined in the PGI application.

The company said it planned to invest £11m in the site and would try to avoid redundancies. Production would be transferred by April next year.

Pork Farms was previously owned by Northern Foods, which sold it to private equity group Vision Capital in November last year.

Northern had originally opposed the PGI application but withdrew its complaints in October last year after receiving confirmation that the Commission would give pork pie manufacturers five years to transfer production to an area within the protected zone.