See inside new-look South Shields Crematorium as it reopens after eight-month remodelling works
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The £800,000 project which began in January at South Shields Crematorium has finally come to an end as cremations and services are set to resume from Tuesday, August 30.
Work on the building includes the extension of the chapel area into the former internal courtyard which now enables the Council to cater for larger funerals, with capacity increased by around 126, providing seating for more than 200 visitors as well as extra standing space.
The pulpit and seating have been repositioned to provide better sight lines for those paying respects to family and friends and a new partition wall can be used when required for smaller, more intimate funerals.
The entrance, waiting and exit areas have also been redecorated to a modern respectful standard.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council said: “The Crematorium plays a key role in the community, supporting local people at what can be an extremely distressing and difficult time in their lives.
“As the only crematorium to serve South Tyneside, investment has been important to ensure the building is up-to-date so that we can continue to provide a respectful service for families paying tribute to their loved ones. It is also important that it is fit for purpose and able to cater for larger funerals for the residents of South Tyneside.
“Having seen the improvements first hand I am delighted with the results and although losing a loved one is never easy, I feel assured that the new facilities together with the impeccable service our Bereavement Team and funeral directors provide grieving families can feel fully supported during their most difficult time.”
In addition, the Council upgraded its cremators – which were almost 25 years old – with new wider cremators to accommodate larger coffins which are also more energy efficient to reduce the building’s carbon emissions by around 240 tonnes per year.
The chapel extension was designed by Newcastle-based architectural practice GSSArchitecture with the work delivered by Surgo Construction and project managed by Helm.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Transport and Neighbourhoods at South Tyneside Council, said: “It’s great to see the works complete and on schedule so that we can get back to supporting our residents.