A new crematorium to serve the Borough of Broxbourne has opened with a number of families already choosing to use the new facility.
Woollensbrook Cemetery and Crematorium is located just off Hertford Road, Woollensbrook. It is set in a natural landscape surrounded by woodland and its opening meets the need for a new crematorium to serve the area and relieve pressure on neighbouring crematoria at Enfield and Harlow.
Vital additional burial ground will be provided too with the existing cemetery on Ware Road in Hoddesdon due to run out of space in the next two years.
Broxbourne Borough Council ran a competitive tender to pick a developer for the site in 2013. Westerleigh Group, the leading developer and operator of crematoria and cemeteries in the UK, was selected and later gained planning permission from the Council for their designs and building plans. Upon completion of the building, the firm was granted a long-term lease for the site.
Richard Evans, Managing Director of Westerleigh, which operates the new facility, was pleased to see the new service finally complete: “It seems a long time since we first won the tender back in 2013 and we are delighted to finally be ready for funerals.
“We are very proud of how the crematorium looks, finished in natural stone, in sympathy with its countryside setting, and I am sure that it will provide a more tranquil and convenient place for local families to hold a funeral.”
Local clergy and funeral directors were given a preview of the new service and have been impressed by what they have seen.
Jim Gardiner of Jim Gardiner Funerals in Cheshunt looked after the first funeral at the new crematorium: “It is a great relief that we finally have a crematorium of our own. The existing crematoria, especially Enfield, are too busy with families complaining that they feel like they’re on a conveyor belt.
“Woollensbrook promises to offer something much more personal and all of the facilities have been built to a very high standard.”
Jim added: “The setting is very attractive and you can see that care has been taken to ensure that the building blends in with the surrounding countryside. I am sure that families will appreciate the extra space and natural setting.”
The 96-seat chapel can cater for all religions and beliefs and has been fitted with large bay windows overlooking a water garden and the surrounding woodland beyond. A state of the art digital music system has been fitted alongside a traditional organ.
The crematorium will serve all communities across Hertfordshire and the manager of the new service, Jason King, is delighted to finally be able to open its doors.
He said: “It is a secluded, natural spot, ideally suited for holding funerals and allowing families to grieve in peaceful surroundings. We will allow an hour for every funeral, ensuring that each one can hold a unique, dignified event.”
The cemetery will also provide valuable new burial space for Hoddesdon residents as well as providing above ground Mausolea, similar to those that have been recently installed in Cheshunt.