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State-of-the-art £5 million crematorium taking shape in Cannock

By Jamie Brassington | Cannock | News | Published:

A new £5million crematorium which will offer state-of-the-art services is taking shape in Staffordshire.

The new crematorium as seen from the air

The 12-acre site, in Heath Hayes, Cannock, will have industry-leading features such as the "funeral equivalent" of music streaming service Spotify and a cremation viewing area for religious people.

The facility, which will be run by Horizon Cremation, is set on an old open coal mine workings which were filled in during the 1970s, said Stephen Byfield, the company's director.

It is hoped Cannock Crematorium, located on Hednesford Road just south of Five Ways Island, will open by March. It has been built amid a shortage of crematorium services in Cannock. The nearest sites are Bushbury Crematorium, in Wolverhampton, which is about nine miles away, and Stafford Crematorium, in Stafford, which is about 12 miles away.

Scaffolding currently surrounds the crematorium building

The crematorium will be located next to a separate cemetery - which is also taking shape - which will be separately run by Cannock District Council.

Outlining the benefits of the new crematorium, Stephen Byfield, Horizon’s director, said: "It will be close to people where they live and by far will have the best facilities of existing crematoriums in the area."

Planning permission was granted in January, 2019. The site will benefit from an abundance of trees and wildlife which have been able to thrive for more than 40 years since the coal minings closed.

An illustration of how the crematorium will look

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Mr Byfield said mourners will be able to see the likes of deer running across the grass.

This type of idyllic scene can be viewed through large glass windows - which will front the chapel where funeral services will take place - once building work is complete.

Construction is currently taking place with the foundations and skeletal structure of the main building in place. The work is being delivered by Arthur M Griffiths & Son Ltd [AMG], which is based in Wolverhampton.

Site manager Matt Howe, from AMG

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A memorial garden in front of the chapel is currently being built. This features a spherical brick design.

People will also have the option of watching the coffin go into the cremator from a small, purpose built viewing area in the chapel. This is to cater for certain religions.

There will be two cremators on site which will be fuelled by two large gas tanks. One tall chimney will transport the fumes out through the roof.

The crematorium taking shape

Mr Byfield, whose company runs a handful of other crematoriums throughout the UK, says the emphasis of Cannock Crematorium will be on offering a bespoke service to mourners, which other facilities may not be able to offer.

On arrival mourners will be taken to a waiting area where they can enjoy a hot beverage.

They will then be taken to the main chapel. Here, there will be large television screens were family members can play videos and show photographs of their deceased relatives as part of the service.

The crematorium taking shape

Ahead of funerals, mourners will also be able to choose from a range of music to go with the service. There will also be an organ on site for a more traditional service.

"We will have the funeral equivalent of Spotify," said Mr Byfield. "It will all be selected. We will offer a really bespoke service."

Mourners will be able to have one hour services.

Six staff will be employed at the crematorium once it is finished with recruitment due to begin around December. Mr Byfield said all members of staff will be trained up in different roles.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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