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Council submits plans for crematorium revamp

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PLANS have been submitted for a major improvement scheme at Distington Hall Crematorium.

The plans, lodged this week by Architects Plus on behalf of the facility’s owners Copeland Council, include internal and external modifications that aim to enhance the experience for guests and improve operational areas for staff.

The plans have been produced following consultation with funeral directors, celebrants and members of the clergy. They include:

·       An enlarged opening between the chapel and lobby to allow for extra seating for larger funerals

·       A new covered entrance canopy for guests to congregate prior to the arrival of the funeral cars

·       A covered exit walkway with a designated area for floral tributes

·       Refurbishment of the chapel and other public areas

·       A new private meeting area

·       New toilets

·       Improved staff areas

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “This is the next phase in the ongoing modernisation and improvement of our bereavement services that has already included significant improvements at our cemeteries.

“We know that Distington Hall Crematorium is in need of an upgrade to make it a more attractive facility for our guests and more operationally efficient for our staff, and the work that’s proposed will deliver just that.

“Our project team has worked closely with stakeholders and users of the crematorium to ensure that the changes meet their needs. We’ve taken their feedback on board and are grateful for their input.”

Christian Judd, Director of Architects Plus, added: “Following an extensive design process, we have devised a scheme that aims to maximise the potential of the existing building but which can also be delivered with minimal disruption to the everyday operations of the facility.

“We fully appreciate the sensitive nature of the building and the services they provide and so the works will be phased in discrete sections, with the majority of the work taking place outside normal operating hours.”

Further to the planning application, a second cremator is also in the process of being installed at the crematorium to improve efficiency and environmental performance. Landscape improvements are also planned.

A decision on the planning application will be made by Copeland Council’s Planning Panel. If planning permission is awarded, work is scheduled to commence in October and will take around six months to complete.