Opened £8.5m crematorium ready for role in community
BOROUGH council bosses are hoping problems with cremations in Cheltenham will be a thing of the past, now they have opened a new £8.5million crematorium.
It has been built at the far north eastern end of the town’s cemetery, off Bouncer’s Lane.
From Monday, it will hold services in larger and more modern buildings.
The two new chapels have replaced ones that opened in 1938 and were no longer considered to be fit for purpose.
That was especially because there had been problems in the previous five years with the burners used for cremations.
At times, it meant that although services could still be held in Cheltenham, funeral directors had to arrange for cremations to take place elsewhere - in places such as Gloucester and further afield in south Wales and Somerset.
Now the new crematorium has been built, the council will have to find a new use for the old chapels. They can not be demolished because they are listed.
Officials were keen to show how much bigger and brighter the two new chapels are. They also unveiled the new burners at the site.
Services will now be more personal, with new technology offering music, readings and video to complement the life that a person has led.
Councillor Chris Coleman, the council’s cabinet member for clean and green environment, said: “This is a significant moment for Cheltenham’s bereavement services and the new facilities will provide a first class service for our residents, the surrounding areas, and all who will use our bereavement services.”
Ben Jenkins, the authority’s bereavement services manager, said: “With the new facility, I am looking forward to the future of bereavement services, and what we can now offer to all who will use our first class provision for many years to come.”
Town mayor Councillor Bernie Fisher (LD, Swindon Village) cut the ribbon to open the crematorium. He said: “It’s well worth the money. It’s a great facility that will be here for generations.”
The new crematorium in Cheltenham. Below, Town mayor Councillor Bernie Fisher cuts the ribbon