Work on Plymouth’s new crematorium will begin later this month.
The brand new, £16 million project will see Plymouth’s aging crematoria at Weston Mill and Efford replaced with a state-of-the-art, modern facility.
Spades will be in the ground at the 17-acre site on the eastern edge of the city, off Merafield Road near the Stag Lodge entrance to Saltram Park, within the next few weeks, after the Kier Group were appointed as construction contractors for the project.
Kier, who have been integral to the success of the award-winning Oceansgate project, were chosen after a competitive tender process with several other internationally renowned organisations.
But with a track record of constructing non-standard projects with significant landscaping and a committed approach to supporting the local economy Kier were given the nod.
Over the course of the build, Kier will commit to meeting social objectives via a detailed local employment and skills plan to ensure that as much of the £16 million ear-marked for the project can be spent in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
This includes ensuring that 85% of SME sub-contractors come from the PL postcode and an agreement to work with Building Plymouth and local education establishments to provide a series of placements.
In addition, Kier will also help to support a new landscaping social enterprise project to promote skills not ordinarily found on a city centre building project.
Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet member for Customer Focus and Community Safety, said: “This new crematorium is going to completely revolutionise the way we deliver our bereavement service in Plymouth and I’m delighted that we have reached another important milestone.
“If the recent situation has taught us anything, it’s that this service is one of our most important and to be able to pay our final respects to love ones in such a beautiful location will make the difference to so many people across Plymouth.
“I’m delighted to welcome the Kier Group on board and can’t wait to see them get started.”
Doug Lloyd, Operations Director at Kier, said: “We are delighted to be chosen to be the Council’s construction partner for the delivery of this high quality crematorium which will provide an important service for the people of Plymouth and the surrounding communities.”
“As a business who has been based in Plymouth for over 90 years it is important to us that we ensure the project has a positive impact on the local economy and we look forward to working with the project team and Building Plymouth to provide opportunities for local SME’s, apprentices, T level support and work experience for local schools and colleges building upon the positive impact the Oceansgate Phase 2 project with Plymouth City Council has had to date. We will be launching a Landscaping Academy that will look to upskill and train people in this area using the scheme as a live training opportunity”
The designs for the new crematorium have been developed with insights from the public and the funeral industry, after an extensive consultation exercise over the last few years.
Produced by local architects Stride Treglown and Aecom and project managed by Ward Williams Associates they show single-storey buildings nestled in green spaces with water pooled around the ceremony rooms.
Inside, light and open ceremony spaces with large windows are in keeping with the desire to provide a modern quality facility.
Reflective spaces will be created for memorials and scatterings alongside landscaping that embraces the local environment and ecology. It is also hoped that a green burial option will be available at the new site.
Furthermore, a café, located on the site but away from the main crematorium building, is included in the project. The café will be open to serve refreshments for people attending funerals and also for people visiting the site to pay their respects. There will also be a facility that families can hire for wakes.
The existing cemeteries at Efford and Weston Mill will continue to be active for burial and memorials with the chapels available for bookings.
More information on plans for the new crematorium can be found here – www.plymouth.gov.uk/futurecrem