A leading Dorset funeral director has welcomed BCP Council’s decision to make Poole Crematorium operational again – after leading a campaign to have eco-cremators re-installed.
Nick Douch, managing director of Douch Family Funeral Directors, said he was delighted that councillors had listened to the concerns of their constituents.
The local authority has decided to invest £2,437,516 in buying two cremators for the facility off Gravel Hill.
The crematorium has been without cremators since 2020 and it has been run merely as a service chapel, with the deceased being conveyed to Bournemouth for cremation.
As recently as September last year it was thought that its future would be only as a ceremonial function room, despite the huge area it serves and the increasing demand in the area. However, at a recent council meeting various proposals were put on the agenda with members opting for the purchase and installation of two electric cremators, which they can promote as ‘green’.
Nick Douch, whose company runs seven branches in Dorset and who led the campaign, said: “It always seemed the wrong decision to close it permanently as a crematorium. We lobbied and campaigned hard and the councillors really took the message on board and thankfully have decided to return it to an operational facility.”
“The council’s plans had been to spend a great deal of money improving it just as a ceremonial venue.
“We always felt that the money would be better spent making it work as intended – and now that will happen, although we’re not sure how long the installation will take.”
“Part of our campaign was to lobby for electric cremators so the council could show off its eco credentials, and that is what they have gone for. The crematorium is used by people as far west as Blandford and Dorchester and it serves potentially half a million people.”
“Driving the deceased to Bournemouth for cremation was unsustainable with its cremators being the second busiest in the country and demand rising. Also, relatives of the deceased often want a cremation to take place in the same place as the service. They don’t like the idea of their loved ones being shunted around.”
“We are grateful to John Ainsworth of Churches Together in Poole, Tony Reeves, who started the petition, local funeral directors who backed the campaign, the public who supported the campaign and to the council for making what we believe is obviously the correct decision.”