Work has started on Wellingborough’s crematorium with a pledge to involve local trainees and students throughout the construction.
A ceremony to officially start the building work was held earlier this week as leader of Wellingborough Council, Cllr Paul Bell, was joined by councillors and contractor Wates Construction to dig the first soil on the 11-acre site near Great Doddington.
We are keen to ensure that this project creates lasting benefit for the local community, part of which is our appointment of local suppliers and sub-contractors to support our project deliveryRichard Scarrott
Throughout the work, Wates has made a pledge to create extensive opportunities for employment and training, including about 100 apprentice and work experience weeks on site and 100 training course opportunities for members of the project team.
The contractor has also committed to ensuring that a quarter of the site team would come from within 10 miles of the project.
The crematorium was first discussed by councillors back in 2011.
After extensive research and consultation, detailed planning permission was unanimously granted in January this year.
Speaking at the ceremony on Tuesday as he officially started the work, Cllr Bell said: “I’m delighted that we have now reached the point where people can see construction starting on such an important project for our borough.
“It’s taken more than three years to get to this stage because we’ve made sure we’ve got it right.
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking to people, getting expert advice, looking at plans and going into the smallest detail to make sure what we’re providing is what people want.
“This is a team effort and I’d like to personally offer my thanks to everyone that is working alongside us to create this valuable and much needed facility for the borough.”
Cllr Bell was joined by councillors from both political parties at the ground breaking ceremony.
Cllr Tim Maguire, Labour councillor and member of the crematorium advisory group set up to oversee the project, said: “This is a scheme that has support across the whole council and across the borough.
“We have put in a lot of work to get to the stage where we can deliver a crematorium that we can be proud of for many years to come.”
Richard Scarrott, business unit director at Wates Construction Midlands, said: “We have worked closely with the council to develop plans for the new crematorium, which has given us a thorough understanding of their vision for a building that is sympathetic to the surrounding landscape.
“We are keen to ensure that this project creates lasting benefit for the local community, part of which is our appointment of local suppliers and sub-contractors to support our project delivery.”
The £5.5 million project will see the creation of a new 465 sq m crematorium with space to seat 120 mourners, a 98 space car park and external landscaping.
It is being paid for out of the council’s capital budget and is due to be up and running next summer.