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West Cumbria crematorium plans concern mourner

Published by in English ·

Distington Hall Crematorium is due to get an upgrade worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, but one mourner said she had been left in the dark about the changes.

Site owner Copeland council plans to build a new crematorium hall, additional parking for up to 27 more vehicles and a more environmentally friendly crematorium system.

But one couple were distressed when they found the chapel of remembrance closed unexpectedly last month without any explanation.

Ellie Atkinson, 50, of Chaucer Road, Workington, visited the site with husband Keith on the first anniversary of her father-in-law’s death on January 23 and discovered the door to the chapel was locked.

She said: “I went up there to take flowers and spend a quiet five minutes alone but it was closed.

“I don’t know where people will be able to lay their flowers any more, especially as the crematorium outside is not very sheltered and bunches of flowers can blow away.

“There is nothing telling you that the chapel is closed and there is nowhere really to go now if you just want a bit of peace for five minutes.

“It was very distressing for me.”

Since then, however, Mrs Aktinson has been able to get access to the chapel and the book of remembrance.

Pat Graham, Copeland’s corporate director for people and places, confirmed that the council was looking at changes to the way the chapel and the book of remembrance were accessed by the public.

She said: “We have been reviewing the service we offer at Distington Hall Crematorium and, as a result, we are investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in an upgrade of the facilities.

“These will lead to notable improvements for people using the facility including a new crematorium hall with improved lighting, seating and flooring; additional parking for up to 27 more vehicles; and a new, more environmentally friendly cremator system.

“This may also result in a change to they way that people access the chapel and the book of remembrance, and we are currently looking at this.”

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