Couples may soon be able to celebrate their wedding at Kettering’s crematorium.
Kettering Council has announced that they are seeking to develop a wedding venue at Warren Hill, which incorporates the crematorium, woodland area and burial grounds.
They say the site has been identified as an ‘ideal’ venue for weddings, in the same way as any church or hotel performs a number of social functions.
Cllr Ian Jelley, portfolio for strategic delivery at the council, said: “This is a great idea to improve the services we provide for local people, to make even better use of one of our best assets and to earn additional income for the
council tax payers of the borough.
“I am confident that the team, which already runs an excellent value for money service, can also sensitively and professionally run a wedding venue at the Warren Hill site.”
All of the facilities are already available for a wedding including light and airy rooms capable of holding 120 people, free car parking, toilet facilities, disabled access, and modern music facilities.
Some work is being done to the adjacent garden to make it suitable for photographs and as a possible outdoor venue, as well as its continuing role as a garden of peace and reflection in support of the bereavement service.
It is hoped that the service will go live later in 2018.
Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Council, said: “Warren Hill is a large, modern facility just off the A14 and within easy reach of a large population.
“It has capacity at the weekends especially and we have taken the suggestion of some of our customers to work up a plan for its use as a wedding venue.
“We hope that, on the back of proving we can run one of the best funeral venues in the country, we can, equally successfully provide a great wedding experience as well.”
The council say they were approached after a revamp of the crematorium in 2014, asking if the venue was available for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.
They asked the registration service and funeral directors for their views, as regular users of the current venue.
They say the County Registration Service was particularly positive about the attractive East Lodge Gardens and how it would make an ideal outdoor wedding venue.
Planning consent is required at the site to allow weddings to take place and a planning application has been submitted.
Any wedding bookings will be handled separately from the funeral business, and the authority says neither should have any negative impact on the other.