Mourners are again able to hold funerals at Falkirk Crematorium as it re-opens after a multi-million pound refurbishment.
The chapel was available for services from last Monday following a five month closure.
Phase one of the £3.2 million upgrade to bring the 1960s facility up to today’s standards has been completed.
The second stage of the project is already underway with the phased replacement of the cremators.
This work is mainly taking place at weekends and occasional Fridays but services will take place during the week.
It is expected that all work will be completed in September.
Councillor Paul Garner, environment spokesperson for Falkirk Council, said: “This is the first major refurbishment of the Crematorium since it opened in the 1960s. The original character and feel of the building has been retained but now offers a more modern setting and improved surroundings for grieving families and friends.”
The chapel has been extended to cater for larger services and the local authority hopes it will reduce the number of times mourners have to spill out into the waiting area.
Other improvements include:
•Improved access to the building
•A new entrance vestibule at the public entrance
•Additional seating in the extended chapel
•Privacy screening to the loggia to allow a more private setting
•New family room
•New audio visual system
•Additional public toilets
•New roofing, windows and gutters
•New flooring, heating, wiring, plumbing and decoration throughout
•Additional car parking.
Mr Garner added: “There will be much less disruption during the second phase works with services taking place during the week but work to replace the cremators will take place at weekends. We have worked closely with funeral directors and celebrants throughout and will continue to do so for the duration of refurbishment works.”
The Book of Remembrance was moved to an alternative location in a temporary building in the car park during the first phase works but has returned to the Chapel of Remembrance.
Falkirk Council first revealed its plans for the upgrade to the building two years ago and work on the project was initially due to get underway last August.
However, after consultation with stakeholders, the initial plans were adapted to take on board suggestions from the funeral directors, clergy and celebrants.
During the time building was closed to service, cremations still took place but without family and friends present.
Paul Cuthell of Thomas Cuthell Undertakers said this was a sensible decision as relatives could hold services in funeral parlours, churches and halls locally, rather than having to travel outwith the district.
He said: “The alternative is going to crematoriums in Livingston, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dunfermline to hold services. Sadly, you would find that many people wouldn’t be able to make that journey. What is being offered is the knowledge that the cremation will take place in the building where perhaps other family members have gone before.”