A NEW crematorium to serve the needs of bereaved families in East Staffordshire is due to open later this month.
The Co-operative has invested £3.8 million in the facility, which has been built off Fradley Lane, Fradley, to provide a ‘much-needed’ service in the area.
The keys have now been officially handed to The Co-operative by Mercia Crematoria Developments to mark the completion of the building work.
Further development work will continue on the remembrance gardens, which is due to be completed in time for the official opening, which is scheduled for the end of March.
The Co-operative’s Alison Close said: “There was a clear shortage of crematoria in this area, which meant families were having to travel further or wait longer than desired for a funeral to take place, hence the investment in more local facilities for the population.”
The Co-operative’s Colin Rickman, responsible for the 10-acre site, said: “The new site will offer one hour service times as opposed to the usual 30 minutes, which will enable families to spend more time celebrating the life of their loved one.”
The gardens of remembrance will offer families in East Staffordshire a comfortable setting for funeral services, as well as a tranquil area for visiting loved ones and to pay their respects.
As well as reducing the waiting time for funerals, the new crematorium will feature a service chapel, which will accommodate more than 80 people, a music system to enable to bespoke music requests and recording of services if required, as well as a book of remembrance.
Bereavement services manager Stephanie Roberts and assistant services manager Derik Cross will be based at Lichfield and District Crematorium, providing a ‘professional service’ to the community.
Contractor Stepnell and Mercia Crematoria Developments have worked together to make sure the site meets EU guidelines on emissions.
Back in 2011, the Mail reported how Bretby Crematorium, near Burton, was sold by former joint owners East Staffordshire Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council to Midlands Co-operative Society.
The controversial deal was worth more than £7 million.