Work is to begin on a major revamp of Crewe Crematorium to improve facilities for the bereaved.
The £1.3m scheme, which starts on Monday July 6, includes extending the building, boosting seating capacity, improving toilet facilities and increasing parking for people with disabilities.
The work will be done outside crematorium opening hours and services will take place as normal. Every effort will be made to keep any impact of the work to a minimum.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is a major investment by the Council to greatly enhance and expand facilities for bereaved families and shows our commitment to deliver improved, quality services for our residents.
“Improving this facility is something that has needed to happen for a long time.”
Crewe Crematorium, in Crewe Cemetery, will get a single-storey extension to the front of the existing building. The extension will include an arrival area, a book of remembrance alcove and an area where bereaved families can wait more comfortably.
External walls of remembrance will be built to both the front and side of the existing building to replace the ‘carriage porch’ (porte cochere). Some memorial plaques will be temporarily moved and stored during this work.
The interior will get an extra 38 seats – increasing capacity by more than 50 per cent from the current total of 68 seats. There will also be an extension of the ‘hearing loop’ to help the hard of hearing access the service.
Toilet facilities will be improved as the existing chapel of rest will be converted into male, female and disabled toilets. Two additional disabled parking spaces will also be created.
Councillor David Marren, chairman of Orbitas – Cheshire East Council’s arms-length company which runs Cheshire East’s cemeteries and bereavement services, said: “This much-needed improvements investment will enable us to provide an even better quality of service for people at what is an emotional and difficult time for them.
“The extension of the crematorium will allow family members and friends to more comfortably attend services for loved ones. Moreover, a cover will be included to shelter mourners before a service, where at present they have to stand exposed to the elements.
“A new corridor system will also prevent the bereaved from a previous service from walking directly past mourners attending the next service – reducing potential further distress by giving mourning friends and family a greater sense of privacy and dignity.
“I would like to thank members of the public in advance for their patience and understanding while the necessary works are carried out.”
To facilitate the works, the Crematorium will close at 1pm on Fridays and reopen for services at 11am on Mondays. The work is due to be completed by late autumn.
For information about Crewe Crematorium and Cemetery, visit the Council’s website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk
Alternatively, ring the cemetery office on 01270 685545.