Imperial Tobacco is to close its cigar factory in Bristol and transfer production to Spain as part of a review of the tobacco giant's European operations.

Production of exported brands at its Nottingham cigarette factory would also be transferred to Europe, although cigarettes sold in UK and Ireland would still be made at the site, Imperial Tobacco said.

The changes, which are part of a review of Imperial Tobacco's European operations following its acquisition of Franco-Spanish tobacco company Altadis, would result in the loss of 260 jobs in the UK.

However, Imperial Tobacco's headquarters would remain in Bristol and a reorganisation of central support functions would create 25 jobs.

Some six factories will close and 2,440 jobs will be lost across Europe as part of the review.

“The projects are a necessary step in the process of integrating Imperial Tobacco and Altadis, and will ensure that we create a strong and sustainable future for the enlarged group,” said chief executive Gareth Davis.