A £2.6m upgrade of Durham Crematorium is due to start.
The 50-year-old crematorium will soon have a new car park and improved road access at the site. New machines will be installed in 2012 which will recycle energy to help heat the building.
The crematorium, which holds 2,000 services a year, will be open as usual while the work is carried out.
The project is being delivered by Durham County Council with Spennymoor Town Council.
The upgrade will include the installation of more environmental cremators.
The council said these were necessary in order to comply with a change in legislation requiring the removal of mercury from crematorium emissions by December 2012.
A ceremony to mark the start of work at the site will take place on Tuesday.
Alan Jose, superintendent and registrar at Durham Crematorium said: "Last year we celebrated 50 years of the crematorium and I am really pleased that the go ahead has been given for the work which will ensure we can serve families for another 50 years and onwards."
Durham Crematorium is managed by a joint committee of the County Council and Spennymoor Town Council. It handles more than 2,000 services a year.