Expansion plan as Blackpool cemetery set for upgrade

Carleton Cemetery
Carleton Cemetery
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More than 2,000 new burial plots are set to be added at Blackpool's Carleton Cemetery as part of a major five-year development.

The council has revealed it is planning to extend the graveyard by an additional seven acres in order to create the extra burial space.

The proposal is included in plans which have already been revealed to funeral directors, clergy and lay preachers who are members of the Bereavement Partnership which works alongside town hall chiefs.

The investment would be funded through the council's capital programme.

In June it was revealed the furnaces at Carleton Crematorium are also being replaced because the existing equipment keeps breaking down.

Two temporary cremators will be used for up to nine months and the current cremation room will be extended to accommodate three replacement cremators.

Other plans to improve facilities also include the opening of a new cafe that will be run by Nibbles, which already operates cafes at Anchorsholme Library and the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living.

Improvements are also proposed to the lighting, car parking and a shelter at the cemetery.

Cabinet member Graham Cain gave an update on the plans in his report to a meeting of the full council last week, saying it would take around five years to complete all the work.

He added: "The Bereavement Partnership feedback was very positive and representatives from the partnership will input into the location of the shelter, additional lighting, extra car parking and help shape the layout of the extension to the cemetery.

"We have had ongoing issues with the current cremators for some years, which have unfortunately led to reduced capacity.

"As part of this project, the council will be investing in new cremators. In order to deliver a full service now, two temporary cremators are already on site and will provide the capacity we need whilst the works take place."

It was revealed in December 2013 how families were having to wait two weeks for services at Carleton, with delays increasing to four weeks by March 2014.

The crematorium, which has the capacity to carry out between 40 and 50 services a week, had been beset by problems in recent years.

The installation of a third cremator was halted in summer 2013 when the company fitting it, Crawford Europe, stopped trading.

Two cremators continued to operate, and the council secured a deal with ATI Environment UK Ltd to finish the third.

The second cremator at the facility later broke down. Engineers then had to carry out additional work to comply with legislation on mercury emissions.