Work on a brand new multi million pound crematorium for the North East is to get underway. The state-of-the-art facility, plus associated landscaped memorial gardens, has been designed by Naru and Ross Architects on behalf of Dignity Plc, one of the largest providers of funeral services in the UK.
With planning permission granted by Durham County Council, the new purpose-built facility will be situated on arable land close to a former brewery at Castle Eden in East Durham, just off the A19 dual carriageway.
Described as meeting the needs of mourners, but being sensitive to the locality, the £2.5m project will provide a low-level, green-roofed sandstone crematorium building with a link to a separate new-build chapel. Both buildings will be concealed by grass mounding and discreet landscaping, with only a dressed stone flue rising above the low profile of the single-storey buildings.
In addition to a new access road and car parking facilities, the three hectare site has been designed to lift the senses with peaceful far-reaching parkland views; beautifully landscaped gardens of remembrance; an ornamental pond and flexible contemplative serene spaces for private reflection.
Following a fairly lengthy planning approval period, the project has now reached the tendering stage to appoint a designated contractor. Work is expected to start in the spring, with completion scheduled for 2019.