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Leicester's main crematorium gets upgrade to cope with larger coffins

Published by in English ·

Council bosses have promised to keep disruption to a minimum when they begin a year-long project to upgrade the city's main crematorium.

A £4 million project to improve Gilroes Crematorium will go before the city's planning committee in May and work is expected to begin in September.

New, more environmentally friendly cremators designed to accommodate the increasing size of modern coffins will be installed.

The east chapel will be extended to put in more seats. Parking space will be increased.
An unused building at the site will be converted into a shop for the sale of flowers and wreaths.

Adrian Russell, the city council's director of environmental services, said the crematorium would remain open through the project.

That would remove the need for families to go elsewhere for cremations, he said.

"We plan to do everything we can to minimise the impact of the work and make sure that any potentially disruptive work is carried out outside of operating hours," Coun Russell said.

"However an extension to the east chapel will mean that only one of the two chapels will be available for use for a period of time. The crematorium will remain open throughout, however."

Councillor Rob Wann, city cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "This work will improve the crematorium for years to come."

The plans were first put before the city cabinet in March last year, but approval has been delayed while a major review into funeral services was carried out.

Efforts to cut the cost of the planned work also caused a partial delay.

Tory group leader Ross Grant said: "These plans have been hit by repeated delays so I'd like to see work beginning as soon as possible.

"I support any efforts to keep any disruption to a minimum during the building process."

The crematorium carries out about 3,200 cremations a year, making it the seventh busiest in England.

The current cremators were installed in 2000.

Vaporised mercury from filled teeth makes crematoria a significant source of mercury emissions. The element is toxic and accumulates in air and water.

The cremators will cut these emissions by half.

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