Town hall bosses battling to make Blackpool’s crematorium fully operational again after more than a year running under capacity today insisted the service remains “high quality”.
Carleton Crematorium has been running without at least one of its three cremators since the end of 2013 due to a fault, causing delays of up to four weeks for grieving families to have services there.
Blackpool Council, which owns and runs the facility, assured in December of that year that all was being done to rectify the problem, but it persisted, even seeing a second cremator briefly out of order in 2014.
Funeral directors said the delays were putting undue stress on families wishing to have their loved ones services at the facility off Stocks Lane, saying it was “frustrating” and “distressing” for relatives.
Now the council’s lead representative responsible for the service has again said the service will be fully operational again “as soon as possible”.
And he has moved to assure residents the crematorium remains “high quality” in the face of fears the delays, which have seen people travel for services at Park Crematorium in Lytham instead, could have a long term effect on business for Carleton Crematorium.
Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member responsible for Carleton Crematorium, said: “The finishing touches are now being made to the final cremators so that they can be fully operational as soon as possible.
“Testing is taking place on the final machine this month and we hope to have it up and running soon and once completed, the facilities at the Crematorium will be extremely high quality, with our caring staff who can make the grieving process personal and hassle-free as possible.”
The authority has explained how delays in securing the necessary repairs have been down to finding the right contractors to carry out the “extremely specific work”.
Coun Cain added: “The delay in completing the work has been frustrating for all involved, however I hope people appreciate that this is extremely specific work on complicated technical equipment.
“As such, a lot of the delay has been out of our control. There are only a few specialist companies across the entire country who have the expertise to do this work and we have asked them to complete the outstanding work and correct any flaws as soon as possible.
“I want to make it clear however that the Crematorium has been open and operating daily with two out of our three cremators working nearly every day last year and the crematorium took over 1,500 bookings in 2014.”