Continued downtime for cremators at Cheltenham’s cemetery and crematorium

Published on 16th February 2018


It's unlikely that cremations will resume on site until week commencing Monday 5 March due to issues with the supply of equipment needed to complete work. We apologise unreservedly to those affected.

Following the recent discovery of an unforeseen fault with the cremators (including the emission of smoke into the crematory area), engineers have been on site since Monday 12 February undertaking a review of the equipment, scheduled maintenance and making a number of essential repairs.

Unfortunately, due to an issue with the supply of an essential item of equipment needed to complete the works which is being sourced from France, it is unlikely that cremations will resume on site until week commencing Monday 5 March, although this is still dependent on the successful testing of the Cheltenham cremators next week.

During this time, the bereavement services team will continue to deliver funeral services at the Bouncer’s Lane site in Prestbury, with planned off-site cremation arrangements being carried out by the Westerleigh Group, an experienced private funeral services provider. It is likely that most cremations will continue to take place at Langstone Vale Crematorium, which is located in countryside just outside Newport, but in view of the number of services planned over the next two weeks, other cremations which cannot be accommodated locally will take place at Sedgemoor Crematorium in Stretcholt, Bridgwater.

Ceremonies, services and burials will still take place at Cheltenham cemetery and crematorium during this maintenance period.

Mike Redman, director of environment said: “Unfortunately, both our cremators have experienced issues (including the emission of smoke into the crematory area). In light of the risks to staff and the public, we have had to suspend the cremation service for a further two weeks. We are doing everything we can to ensure that our cremator equipment is repaired as quickly as possible and we are regularly updating funeral directors of the situation, so that they can keep families fully informed. We apologise unreservedly to those bereaved families affected and would ask that they discuss the options available to them with their chosen funeral director.

“We very much appreciate the co-operation that we continue to receive from funeral directors in managing this difficult situation and would like to assure bereaved families that following their service in our chapel, we will ensure that the onward journey to the place of cremation is carried out in a dignified and respectful manner.

“If repair works go to plan, we expect to offer our full cremation service again from week commencing 5 March”.