Work has officially begun on Wellingborough’s new crematorium.
A ground-breaking ceremony took place on Tuesday, July 21, to mark the start of work.
Main contractor Wates Construction is now on the 11-acre site near Great Doddington carrying out the first phase of works to build the £5.5m facility.
The crematorium project was first discussed by councillors back in 2011. After extensive research and consultation, detailed planning permission was unanimously granted in January this year. The facility is on track to be opened next summer.
Leader of Wellingborough Council Paul Bell said: “It’s great to see work begin on this project. This is a facility that is welcomed by everyone we’ve spoken to.
“We’re really pleased with the final plans. We’ll have a modern building with the latest equipment, but blending into the landscape and set in gardens and woodland, with beautiful views over the valley.
“To see those plans start to become reality is very exciting.”
Business unit director at Wates Construction Midlands Richard Scarrott 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.”
The project will see the creation of a 465 sq m crematorium facility with a 120-seat chapel, a 98-space car park and external landscaping, including an area for floral tributes.
The cost of the project – about £1.3m for the land and £4.2m for the build – is being met out of the council’s capital budget, which is money in the bank saved for large-scale projects that benefit the community and provide investment opportunities.
Capital funds can’t by law be used to pay for day-to-day services, but income generated from capital projects can.
Cllr Bell added: “We set aside the capital budget for this project as it’s not only something people have told us they want, but because it will also bring in an income. We can use this to help provide services in the borough.”
The project has been procured through the East Midlands Property Alliance (Empa).
Head Alan Coole said: “This is a key project for the people of Wellingborough who will benefit from this new facility once it’s complete.”