A MEMORIAL to the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings will be created by architects in Darwen.

The 15-foot steel trees, to commemorate the loss of 21 lives in the 1974 IRA atrocity, is being fashioned by m-tec, a division of Junction Street based WEC.

Artist Anu Patel will be working with m-tec on the Network Rail project, which will take 24 weeks to complete and be located at the city's New Street railway station.

Three trees have been commissioned, with seven leaves apiece, which will each bear the a laser-cut name and age of one of those murdered by the terrorists.

Tom Elliott, divisional manager of m-tec said: "Community projects are something that m-tec are incredibly passionate about. We are especially proud to be involved in this project to honour the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings.

"It’s a very poignant and lasting tribute to those who lost their lives and also for their loved ones. Our dedicated special projects team have already begun work on the project and we look forward to the unveiling once completed."

Corten steel and stainless steel will be deployed for the trees and iroko wood planters will surround the finished artwork, it has been revealed.

The company's role in the initiative is just the latest in a long line of memorials to leave their premises.

Back in 2012, m-tec was behind the Spitfire memorial, which stands in Darwen town centre and was crafted by their apprentices. Elsewhere their expertise has been called into play for The Braid sculpture, at Blackburn's Sudell Cross, and the rotating wind shelters on Blackpool's seafront.

Work on the project is ongoing and once it is completed, it will stand between New Street and the city's Grand Central development.

For the wider WEC group, it has already been stellar week. Judges at the National Apprenticeship Awards' regional finals presented the company with the Royal Navy Award as the north west's large employer of the year. This is their third success in the category over the past five years.

Kris Mercer, training and development manager, added: “We are delighted our dedication to our apprenticeship programme has once again been recognised. We are truly passionate about our apprentices and harnessing their talent to inspire further generations.

"We recognise that offering apprenticeships is vital to our future growth and closing the engineering skills gap and we are very proud that we now have some of the best apprentices in the UK and the skills to compete internationally."