AS many as 800 workers could lose their jobs after furniture group Silentnight unveiled plans to close two factories and restructure another two.

The company said plants at Andover, in Hampshire, and Bridgend, in South Wales, would close in July as part of an overhaul of its loss-making furniture division, whose products include Parker Knoll upholstery.

A statement said there would also be substantial restructuring at its sites in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, and Edmonton, in north London.

Worst hit is Andover, where 550 workers are employed making Ducal furniture.

The company did not give any indication that its Sunderland-based Homeworthy operation, which employs 700 staff, would be affected.

Nino Allenza, chief executive since October, said the group was consulting staff about the moves but confirmed that 800 workers across the four sites would be affected by the decision.

He said: "We are doing everything we can within the group to try to find employment opportunities within our other business units, and we are also providing an excellent level of out-placement counselling."

Silentnight, which is based in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, bought Ducal and Cornwell Parker two-and-a- half-years ago but has struggled to integrate its acquisitions into the company.

It announced in February that it would be taking a long, hard look at its furniture division.