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Monday, April 22, 2024

Modernizing mourning: Bradford’s new crematorium in Bierley signals shift in funeral services

Work on new crematorium begins

Work has begun on the new crematorium in Bierley, which will replace the ageing facility at Scholemoor.

The new crematorium, off Shetcliffe Lane, will have new service halls, a small hall for intimate services of around 25-30 people, a large hall for services up to 250-300 people, car parking, new cremators, office space and a waiting room.

Bradford Council said the existing facilities are past their recommended life span and do not conform with modern environmental standards.

Plans for the crematorium were approved in 2021 despite a large number of objections from residents, who feared the facility would lead to traffic problems, spoil the landscape, and increase pollution.

Legal restrictions on where crematoria can be built – not within 200 yards of a home and 50 yards of a public road, meant there were few sites in Bradford where the new facilities could be built, a meeting heard back in 2020.

Site preparation is now underway, Bradford Council has confirmed.

Last year another new crematorium in Heaton – named Shay Grange, opened to replace Nab Wood Crematorium.

The Heaton site, based off Long Lane and which cost almost £9m, hosted its first services in October last year.

The Bierley development is part of Bradford Council’s Bereavement Services Strategy, which aims to modernise and upgrade the district’s cemeteries and crematoria.

New emissions rules meant much bigger cremation ovens were required, and Bradford Council said the Nab Wood and Scholemoor crematoria were too small to accommodate these ovens.

Robertson Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the Bierley project.

This is the third crematoria project after Shay Grange and the refurbishment of Oakworth Crematorium.

The Muslim burial ground at Scholemoor Cemetery has also been extended and an extension to the burial provision at Bowling Cemetery is underway.

Work on the Bierley site is expected to finish in 2025.  Once open Scholemoor Crematorium will close, but the cemetery will remain open.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby. Image: Bradford Council

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, said: “This work is another step in our strategy to create a modern, sustainable and environment-friendly bereavement service for the people of the district.

“It is a significant investment in future bereavement services operated by the local authority.”

She added: “We need to progress these works due to the age of the existing facilities which are working well beyond their recommended life span, and which do not conform to modern environmental standards.

“We want to provide practical, sympathetic, convenient and pleasant surroundings for people when they pay their last respects to their loved ones.”

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