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£1.4m Rowley Regis crem facelift gets go-ahead after delays more than a year
4:10pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
Councillor Mahboob Hussain and registration services manager Brendan Day with the crematorium plans.
A £1.4 million facelift for Rowley Regis Crematorium is due to start in early 2014 - more than a year after work was expected to begin.
Funding for the improvements to the Powke Lane building was given the green light in March 2012, but plans have only just been approved by Sandwell Council.
The contract is due to go out to tender this week for the new-look crematorium which will have a larger chapel, a remembrance garden with a water feature, a covered area for flowers and new footpaths around the site.
The refurbished chapel will hold more than 100 mourners – more than double the number it currently holds, which leads to some mourners having to stand outside the chapel during services.
The old toilet block will be converted into a space that could be rented out as a café, florist or other business.
The refurbishment will include new cremator equipment and the improvements, which are expected to take around six months, will also create an extra 20 car parking spaces.
Cabinet member for town and neighbourhood services Councillor Mahboob Hussain said the delay had been due to it taking longer than first expected to draw up the plans.
He said: “It’s good news that work can now start to improve Rowley Regis Crematorium.”
The crematorium will be closed for services for around four weeks while the work is going on, but it will still be possible to carry out cremations.
Cllr Mahboob added: “I want to reassure people that the work will be carried out with the utmost care and respect for the crematorium building and the cemetery that surrounds it.
“We’ll be talking to mourners and people who visit the cemetery to make sure they know what’s happening.
“There will be no disturbance to any graves or interred remains.”
Architects Martin Critchell Associates, who also designed the new crematorium at Sandwell Valley which opened in 2010, have put together the plans to update the facility.
The crematorium chapel opened in 1962 inside the original cemetery chapel, which was built in 1921.
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