Funding to deliver a brand new, state-of-the-art crematorium has been approved by Plymouth City Council.
Nearly £12m will be spent on a new, 17-acre site on the eastern edge of the city, off Merafield Road near the Stag Lodge entrance to Saltram Park.
The new facility will include two non-denomination ceremony spaces with flexible seating, waiting areas, offices, a new crematory and three new cremators with the latest environmental protection equipment.
The scheme will be designed to meet 21st Century expectations of the bereaved, provide green burials and reflective spaces for memorialisation and scatterings as well as reducing the service’s carbon footprint through new technology.
There will also be appropriate car parking, landscaping to provide reflective spaces that embrace the local environment and ecology for memorialisation and scattering as well as the first green burial offer in the city.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “These impressive and ambitious plans will deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose facility that meets the need of the 21st century and allows us to provide for an ever-growing city.
“Not only will it eventually deliver one of the most impressive crematoriums in the country but during construction it will boost local jobs and provide work placements and apprenticeships.
“I am delighted to be able to support the project in its infancy and look forward to seeing it develop in the coming months.”
Councillor Ian, Bowyer, Leader of the Opposition, said: “This is an incredibly important project for the city as it will affect so many families during difficult moments in their lives. We need to make sure that the new facilities being created meet modern standards and expectations and we will be working together to make sure this happens.”
The council currently operates two crematoria at Efford and at Weston Mill. Both of these sites each house two cremators installed in the late 1990s that are nearing the end of their useful life.
Replacement at the existing sites has been ruled out by an independent specialist because of a lack of physical space to accommodate modern technology systems. Extensions to either side of the buildings also are restricted because of existing graves, paths and driveways with Victorian structures.
Whilst all cremations will take place at the new site, both Efford and Weston Mill will continue to be active cemeteries and memorial gardens with the chapels available for bookings.
The design of the new crematorium is being drawn up by Plymouth-based architects Stride Treglown, in partnership with Aecom.
A spokesperson for Stride Treglown said: “This is an extremely important project for the city of Plymouth and its community and Stride Treglown are very honoured to be involved in designs which we hope will provide a sensitive and long lasting benefit to the city.
“The designs for the crematorium includes buildings for bereavement ceremonies but importantly they will also sit within a befitting landscape setting designed by our partners AECOM hopefully to create an appropriately sensitive and peaceful environment.”
More information on the plans for the future Bereavement Service can be found here – www.plymouth.gov.uk/futurecrem