Plans are being made to enhance the provision at a new crematorium which has exceeded expections with more than 300 services since opening.
Nene Valley Crematorium only opened in Wellingborough last September, but it has already nearly doubled the number of services it was expected to hold in its first six months.
And despite some teething problems, including part of the roof being blown off during Storm Doris, plans are now being made for the crematorium to offer more to families.
A report for last week’s meeting of Wellingborough Council’s resources committee said: “The level of business generated by the crematorium continues to exceed initial expectations.”
It said the business case breakeven forecast was for 180 services from opening until the end of March.
But by February 28 this year, 335 services had been held or were booked.
Tracy Lawrence, manager and registrar of the crematorium, said: “After six very busy months, Nene Valley Crematorium in Wellingborough is taking a breath to think about what the next half year will look like.
“As with all new businesses there have been some testing times, but the patience and support of local families, ceremony leaders and funeral directors has been phenomenal.
“The number of cremations has surpassed expectations, proving that people in the borough – and outside – are pleased with the possibility of saying goodbye to loved ones in a convenient and peaceful location.
“We have had difficulties, but each time they have been overcome: there were teething problems with our cremator in the early days, which were quickly resolved; Storm Doris blew part of the roof off; and – very sadly – a mourner died during a funeral service.
“We have even been joined by a small flock of sheep from time to time.
“The key for us is learning from all the challenges that face us, and getting better as we go.
“As we enter our next six months we are looking at two exciting developments: we already have a state-of-the-art music system, but have purchased an organ to offer a choice for families who prefer live music during a funeral service; and our memorial gardens are in the final stages of planning, which include final resting places for the scattering of ashes.”
Tracy said they are also focusing on recruiting a permanent team and are looking for ‘caring and dedicated individuals who are meticulous and methodical, and wish to make a difference to those who are grieving.’