Falkirk Crematorium to close for five months

Falkirk Crematorium will get a �3.2 million upgrade''Picture: Michael Gillen
Falkirk Crematorium will get a �3.2 million upgrade''Picture: Michael Gillen

Mourners will have to make alternative arrangements for funerals when Falkirk Crematorium is closed to the public for five months.

Falkirk Council is spending £3.2 million upgrading the facility.

However, to allow this work to go ahead, which will include extending the chapel area and improving the heating and lighting, the building will be closed to the public from August this year until next January.

Cremations will take place but only funeral directors’ staff will have access.

The two cremators will then be replaced allowing a reduced service with the facility due to be fully operational again by May 2017.

Richard Broadley, Falkirk Council’s planning and environment manager, said: “We have always been aware that any work on the crematorium has to be carried out with sensitivity and dignity.

“It will literally become a building site when the work is being carried out and, apart from health and safety reasons, we cannot have funerals taking place against such a backdrop.”

Leading the design project has been Robin Millard, who said the work had been in the planning for several years.

The council’s building design manager said: “Very little has changed with this building since it opened in the early 1960s. The cremators are replaced every 20 years and this is due around now giving us the opportunity to do this other work.”

Access to Camelon Cemetery and the SANDS memorial will not be affected by the work.

Seating in the chapel will be increased from 120 to around 190. However, a glazed wall will be retained after public consultation revealed this was a feature people wanted.

Equipment to deal with mercury from dental filling will be installed.

There will be improvements to the entrance to the waiting area intended to provide an easier flow for mourners through the building.

The loggia where relatives currently meet mourners will be screened with timber and stained glass. 
There will also be a family 
room where people will be encouraged to gather to pass on their condolences, reducing any disruption to the next service.