More than 500 jobs are to go in Birmingham with the closure of the citys Hovis factory and distribution centre.

It is one of two bakeries which will close cutting a total of 900 jobs as part of plans to overhaul the struggling bread business.

The other is in Greenford, west London.

The bombshell news was broken by Premier Foods, the owners of the company today.

A total of 511 jobs will go at the Birmingham factory in Garretts Green.

In London, nearly 200 jobs will be axed while distribution sites at Plymouth and Mendlesham, Suffolk will also close resulting in the loss of 95 jobs in total.

The closures are subject to consultation with employees but are scheduled to take place during the course of 2013.

St Albans-based Premier, which also makes Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy, has seen its Hovis division hit by intense competition in the bread market and a surge in wheat price inflation caused by poor weather.

And it is set to lose a £75 million-a-year contract with a major grocery chain from the middle of next year after Premier was unable to agree a new deal on sufficiently attractive terms.

It is cutting 130 distribution routes and closing the supply centres to take into account the expected reduction in volumes.

Premier chief executive Michael Clarke said: We recognise the impact these actions will have for our employees at the sites affected.

Decisions will not be taken lightly but they are necessary if we are to build a strong and successful future for the bread division and those who remain with our business.