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Bridgend

Work begins on £1.2m upgrade of Coychurch Crematorium flower court

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Bridgend County Borough Council have announced that work to complete a £1.2 million upgrade to the Coychurch Crematorium flower court is now underway.

The extension will be the first structural addition to the public areas of the main building since it opened in 1970.

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The council say that the design has been tailored to the unique character, history and listed building status of the Crematorium.

The 50th anniversary of the opening occurred during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and the improvements provide a fitting way to mark the occasion.

Maxwell Fry, a British architect of international reputation, was the original designer and the latest improvements are being overseen by Welsh architect Jonathan Adams (Percy Thomas Architects, Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure). His notable projects include the prestigious Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, the new headquarters building for the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) in Llandaff and the Sherman Theatre refurbishment in Cardiff.

The Coychurch Crematorium Joint Committee gave approval for the rear of the Crematorium building to be extended onto the grassed area outside the exit doors of Crallo Chapel. This will help congregations to exit the chapel more easily and will resolve access issues to the toilet facilities, which sometimes cause delays to following services due to the build-up of people in this area.

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The project is expected to be completed in time for the summer and the Crematorium will remain operational throughout the construction.

To enable the works to proceed as quickly as possible, all funerals will now take place in the Crematorium’s Coity Chapel until the project is complete.

Coity Chapel can seat sixty people and the number of daily funerals will only be slightly reduced to allow for the restricted layout of the entrance and exit doors of Coity Chapel, along with the building works taking place on site.

Cllr John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Communities and Chair of Coychurch Crematorium Joint Committee said: “The project provides a fitting way of bringing the Crematorium into modern times by improving access for anyone attending a funeral. Cremations are now more common than they were when the building first opened, and it is important we adapt to this and invest in the building for future generations.

“I appreciate there may be some minor disruptions due to the extensive works, but this will definitely help to improve experiences for mourners and bereaved families in the longer term.”

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(Lead image: Bridgend County Borough Council)

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