A new crematorium serving East Devon and West Dorset will open its doors next week.
Located just off the old A30 at Strete Ralegh near Whimple in Devon, the East Devon Crematorium will cater for an area stretching from Exmouth to Bridport, relieving the pressure on crematoria in Exeter, Taunton, Yeovil and Weymouth.
The £4m privately funded development comprises a modern building with a single chapel and a Book of Remembrance room. The building is set back from the main road in ten acres of memorial gardens, backed by woodland.
East Devon Crematorium is non-denominational and will accommodate all faiths as well as non-religious services. The chapel, which seats up to 90 people, is among the first in the UK to offer a webcasting facility via a secure internet link.
The facility is privately owned and operated by East Devon Crematorium, which has been formed by Cornwall-based Chris Johns, a former director of Memoria, a company that built five crematoria across the UK from 2004.
His business partners are also investors: chairman Jeremy Sharman, finance director Steve Sheridan and The Southern Co-operative, one of the independent regional Co-op societies.
Johns said: “We have worked closely with local funeral directors to ensure that the facility is exactly what is needed in this area. We hope that East Devon Crematorium will offer an attractive and peaceful setting both for funeral services and for those seeking some time for quiet reflection.”
The new crematorium manager is Lisa Handy, who was formerly the bereavement services manager at Leicester City Council.