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New plans for an improved Guildford Crematorium

A £10 million investment by the Council aims to deliver improved facilities and customer experience for those who use our Guildford Crematorium and its services.

Cllr Matt Furniss, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, says: "Our current crematorium has served the borough well for 50 years. Now with changing needs we are investing in improving the facilities to offer personalisation and flexibility, in addition to providing a supportive, inclusive and caring environment for the bereaved. Our local communities' expectations, faiths, customs and requirements have changed and redeveloping Guildford Crematorium will accommodate these in a modern and up-to-date setting.

"Bereavement Services at Guildford Crematorium caters for around 1800 cremations annually with many coming to pay respect to the deceased and to visit the memorial gardens. It is important to us that we provide quality facilities and services to support the bereaved."

The Council has submitted a planning application to rebuild the crematorium on the existing location at Peasmarsh. We identified the significant improvements during our own service review, and have consulted with key stakeholders and local residents on the design.

The appointed design team, led by the award-winning architects Haverstock LLP, have worked closely with the Council to produce a design working within the site constraints and addressing the need to improve facilities and services.

The range of visitors to the existing Guildford Crematorium, and the stages of grief that they experience as they move through the site influenced the design. The flow of mourners through areas, while trying to maximise privacy, was also fundamental to the design. The plan also features courtyards to provide spaces for people to congregate and reflect.

Work on the main building aims to start next spring, for completion and opening in summer 2019.

Cllr Furniss adds: "We will continue to provide a high-quality experience throughout the development of the new crematorium, with interim facilities on site to support the local people and businesses that rely on this sensitive and vital service."

The redeveloped building will provide the following key improvements:

  • a flexible and intimate chapel, suitable for both small and large services, able to accommodate up to 200 mourners
  • an improved experience within the chapel, with views on to landscaped courtyards, improved natural lighting and acoustics, flexible seating and a peaceful, reflective environment
  • a larger waiting room with extended, covered outdoor waiting areas
  • a new Memorial Courtyard, Book of Remembrance Room, Flowers Room and Floral Tribute, overlooking a reflective pool
  • improved parking facilities and on site access roads
  • a new Gardens of Remembrance with an improved choice of memorials.

Interim facilities, including a chapel, waiting room and offices, will be available on site while the redevelopment takes place. We want to continue the special and local service so we will provide the same facilities with space for up to 120 mourners to attend each service during this time.

For the latest information, please visit Redeveloping Guildford Crematorium

Published on Friday 7 July.