The first crematorium and memorial garden to be built within Caerphilly County Borough has started operating.
Sirhowy Valley Crematorium, at Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, has been built by Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner-operator of crematoria and cemeteries.
The new facility became operational on Thursday (Feb 4) and becomes the 35th crematorium to be operated by Westerleigh nationwide. The group has three other sites in Wales.
The opening of Sirhowy Valley means that, for the first time, over 100,000 local residents will have a crematorium within a 30-minute journey of their homes.
The crematorium has been sympathetically designed to offer a place of peace and seclusion within the picturesque natural setting in the heart of the valley.
The chapel is light and spacious, finished in Welsh pennant stone, render and bespoke hardwood joinery with neutral colours and with picture windows along one side.
It is fitted with a state-of-the-art media system and two large screens, providing live webcasts and visual tributes and will be surrounded by well-maintained memorial gardens.
The four-hectare site also features a floral terrace, set slightly away from the chapel, offering a tranquil area for families and friends to gather following their service.
Kevin Davies, Regional Manager at Westerleigh Group said: “We are delighted to have developed this new crematorium in Pontllanfrath towards the top of the Sirhowy Valley. We believe that it will provide local families with a wider choice of funeral services. Currently, the nearest crematoria are all more than 10 miles away, and journeys take over 30 minutes in a funeral cortege. We are pleased to be able to offer a facility that will significantly reduce this travel time, improving the experience for the bereaved and ensuring that their time can be focused on the funeral service itself. The crematorium will offer standard service times at 1 hourly intervals, ensuring families are not rushed. This new facility will offer state-of-the-art digital technologies with the ability to provide webcasting of service for remote viewing, also visual tribute which can be viewed during the service.”
Former funeral director, Jon Deacon is the first Site Manager at Sirhowy Valley Crematorium. He joined Westerleigh Group in December last year to lead the new site team and share his extensive experience of delivering the highest levels of care and compassion to bereaved families.
He said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role as the Site Manager at Sirhowy Valley Crematorium to serve our local communities at the time when they’re experiencing exceptional levels of pain and heartache from losing a loved one. Our new premises set on beautiful grounds, coupled with our absolute commitment to delivering uniquely personal services, will provide a dignified place of rest or final tribute.”