BEREAVED families waiting to give their loved ones a fitting send-off won’t have to wait much longer.
The new North Wiltshire crematorium, between Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett, will open its doors to the first mourners on Monday.
It is hoped the facility will relieve existing pressure on services in Swindon, giving families more time to say goodbye and cutting down on waiting times for funerals.
Delays of up to four-weeks have been experienced for a funeral at Kingsdown Crematorium, which can also take up to 30 minutes to reach from areas in West Swindon.
Richard Evans, CEO of the Westerleigh Group, told the Adver: “We’re just adding the finish touches.
“We’ve already got eight families choosing us to use this new facility. I think it’s a sign of how keen funeral directors have been to ensure families get a choice and to relieve pressure on Swindon."
“We’re obviously pleased that we can make a difference to that. It will give more time to families. We allow an hour for each funeral, so we preserve that individuality and ensure its still a very much personal service that’s so important for these occasions. That will be something which families value and by clearly reducing the existing pressure at the crematorium in Swindon, hopefully it will give those families more time too,” he said.
The new crematorium is on the site of the former showground at Upper Studley Farm next to Junction 16. Despite its practical location it promises to have a natural setting and will give families an extra half-hour per service. It also has room for 98 people in the chapel and another 100 for standing.
“There’s a beautiful tree line, we’ve got long views across towards Marlborough and the countryside in between, so it’s a really nice site,” added Richard. “We always try and find somewhere that can provide the right setting. We want a natural place, where people can draw comfort from the surroundings. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of life. A quiet tranquil spot where they can gather to remember loved ones."
“There are no delays, they can choose the time that they want next week, and they can have an hourly interval.”
Westerleigh operates 32 crematoria in the UK, and a small number of cemeteries, and hosts over 40,000 funerals a year.
Taken from: Swindon Advertiser