Page last updated at 05:13 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 06:13 UK

7/7 memorial firm 'in difficulty'

7 July Memorial
The memorial features one pillar for each of those killed in the bombings

Workers at the Sheffield factory which made the memorial to victims of the 7/7 bombings have had to go on a three-day week because of a slump in orders.

Norton Cast Products manufactured the memorial of 52 stainless steel pillars which was unveiled in London's Hyde Park last week.

The company said it was proud of the work, but it and other foundries were seeing a sharp downturn in business.

Some staff had been made redundant and others were working fewer hours.

Managing director Simon Alexander said he did not know what the steel pillars were going to be used for when his firm won the commission for the project.

'Worrying' time

He said some new orders had come in after the unveiling, but the next two years were still "going to be tough".

He told BBC News: "It's been incredibly difficult, not least because we are a family business and we feel like all the workers at Norton are part of our extended family and unfortunately with the downturn in business we have had to make a number of people redundant.

"It's a fairly familiar picture but it's painful when it happens in your own business and furthermore we have seen further declines in business and we have had to instigate some shorter working time practices.

Saba Mozakka
Saba Mozakka said the memorial was "truly incredible"

"We have had to put the guys on to three days and I have got to say credit to them they have been very supportive of our efforts."

Mr Alexander said the company was "going great guns" and working at full capacity until the early part of the year, when orders "effectively dried up".

Dave Sunderland, who has worked at the firm for three years, said the past few months had been "awful".

He said: "It's not just this foundry, we are all getting devastated. It's worrying for everybody."

He said foundries were "all fighting for a small pot and basically that's the problem".

At the unveiling Saba Mozakka, whose mother Behnaz died in the attacks, described the memorial as "truly incredible".

Members of the bereaved families group said it was a "fitting tribute".

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