New crematorium could cut waiting and travel times for mourners

A new crematorium could ease pressure on funeral services and cut travel times for mourners. EMN-180115-140343001
A new crematorium could ease pressure on funeral services and cut travel times for mourners. EMN-180115-140343001

A new crematorium could cut delays and travel times for mourning families in North Kesteven.

North Kesteven District Council tells The Standard it is “exploring a range of options” to invest in new crematorium facilities for the district.

If given the go-ahead, the scheme, which is still in its early stages, could see grieving families no longer having to travel the 15-or-so miles to neighbouring crematoria in Grantham, Lincoln or Boston, which can mean a round trip of over an hour, as well as reducing delays in arranging a service at busy times.

A council spokesman said an update on options for investment in a crematorium was discussed behind closed doors at Monday’s Target Budget, Performance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

He said: “Due to the commercially-sensitive nature of these matters, they are being looked at confidentially. At this stage, councillors, are being briefed on the principles of a proposed investment, asked to consider options, feasibility and needs analysis and give any observations to the Executive Board for further discussion and decision.”

He explained: “In line with its strategy to invest in schemes and initiatives which bring benefit to the area’s growing population, meet emerging need and secure increased income for the protection and growth of its services, the council is exploring a range of opportunities to work with partners to enhance provision locally.

“In response to the area’s changing demographic and local intelligence pointing to identified need the council is reviewing demand, options and the financial implications of a range of potential delivery models.”

This follows West Lindsey District Council revealing plans last year for a £6m crematorium to be built near Gainsborough to cut travel times.

Most recently, privately managed crematoriums have been set up at Alford in East Lindsey and at Surfleet in South Holland to serve growing needs in the last 10 years, leaving North Kesteven as the one district without its own local facilty.

Having been in the business for over 20 years, Sleaford funeral director Colin Ward said there was definitely demand for such an amenity locally. He said: “It would be wonderful.

“We have to travel 14 or 15 miles to Grantham, Boston, Lincoln or Surfleet and it would be more convenient. Sleaford is a growing town with growing demand.”

He went on: “At this time of year it can be more difficult to arrange a cremation without delay, but at other times we tend to be OK.”

Mr Ward said he would not mind if the facility was council or privately run as local funeral directors would still use it.