Federation sells spare cemetery land for £8.3m
THE FEDERATION of Synagogues has received a huge boost to its expansion plans after selling spare land at its Rainham cemetery in Essex for £8.3 million.
Around 20 acres inside the cemetery wall have been sold, along with land owned in the adjoining Spring Farm, to an organisation which owns several cemeteries in the UK.
Two years ago, the Federation purchased land in Edgwarebury Lane for new plots in recognition of the growing shift of its membership from east to north-west London in recent decades.
Federation president Andrew Cohen said that “over the past two years, the trustees have repositioned the Federation for growth, investing in new communities both in London and Manchester and focusing on areas of Jewish population expansion. We have set ambitious goals and revitalised the organisation with new impetus.”
The Federation, he added, was “now the natural home for an increasing number of thriving communities that strive to be part of the future of Orthodox Anglo-Jewry.
“Through this sale, the trustees continue the rationalisation of the Federation’s assets and operations. We are successfully delivering the ambitious strategy presented two years ago and will continue to drive expansion on a sound footing.”
Rainham’s 106-acre plot was consecrated in 1939 with space for a projected 50,000 graves. But it is currently only 60 per cent occupied. The Edgwarebury site is due to be ready later this year.
The Federation’s expansion plans have already borne fruit with the previously independent congregation Netzach Yisroel joining it last year.
It has not revealed how much of the £8 million windfall will be available for future projects, as opposed to financing current commitments.