HUNCOAT’S historic Nori brickworks has ground to a halt again due to a slump in orders.
The factory was mothballed a year ago with 80 redundancies but seven employees were re-hired on three-month contracts during the summer.
However, David Weeks, of factory owners Hanson Building Products, said a recent review showed that production could not continue throughout the traditionally slow winter period.
Mr Weeks said: "We don’t have enough orders to continue running over the next four to five months, so what we are doing is closing the production and we are going to review things again in April.
"The guys that came back knew it would be on a temporary basis. We didn’t expect orders to come flooding in because the market is still very low."
The announcement comes hot on the heels of an Accrington town hall row between Labour deputy leader Councillor Clare Pritchard and Hyndburn’s county councillors.
Coun Pritchard wrote to Hyndburn leader Peter Britcliffe and Independent Councillor Malcolm Pritchard and their colleagues accusing them of doing little to support Nori.
Coun Clare Pritchard had called for Nori brick, made on Whinney Hill Road, to be employed in future contracts including a new Accrington bus station.
She said: "It was suggested that we lobby county hall to have the bus station built out of Accrington brick. I went back to full council and asked what had happened and nobody had done anything about it."
Councillor Malcolm Pritchard said: "At the council meeting last September I said I would take it to county hall. I have taken it to the head of transport and he said he couldn’t say it has to be one company to provide the bricks to whoever builds it."
Councillor Britcliffe said discussions had been held over the use of Accrington Brick for the bus station and accused his Labour rival of trying to score ‘cheap’ political points.
Last year, Great Harwood pensioner Len Willan started a one-man campaign to get Tesco to build its new Accrington and Great Harwood stores out of Nori brick.
Councillor Clare Pritchard said: "Accrington Nori is really well known. You can put in the tender that you want it built out of local brick.
"People do it all the time with York stone. Not only would this have a positive effect of helping a struggling local business but it would also be more environmentally responsible as building products would have a relatively short journey to the site thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the project.
"We are heavily reliant on manufacturing jobs in Hyndburn and we have got an obligation to blow the trumpet for local producers."
Mr Weeks insisted that the unique properties of Nori brick meant that it could be specified in public procurement tenders.
However, he added: "No disrespect to the bus station, but these are small projects. We need big housing developments to specify local bricks.
"But sites throughout the north of England could also be specifying Nori for its durability."