Upgrade approved for Harrogate cemetery

Harrogate's Stonefall Cemetery will have its two cremators replaced, following a unanimous decision by cabinet last week.

The cemetery at Stonefall on Wetherby Road will remain open while work is carried out
The cemetery at Stonefall on Wetherby Road will remain open while work is carried out

Council’s director of community, Paul Campbell, described the cremators as ‘approaching the end of their life’ with the method of their subsequent replacement up for debate.

Councillors were presented with multiple options on how to replace the equipment, quickly agreeing with the reporting officers’ recommended method of removing the cremators whole from the site in one operation.

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While the report stated it was not the cheapest option, it was the quickest, with service expected to be down for 23 weeks, compared to 37 weeks if the cheapest option to dissemble the cremators in their current position was taken.

Coun Stanley Lumley (Con, Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale Moors) said the recommended solution had the most minor of impacts out of the proposed options and meant the service would be down for the least amount of time.

“We don’t want people having to go outside of the district for this service,” he said.

The process will now see the council seek contractors for the project, with a final price to be set. Funds for the project will come from the Capital Investment Programme. To fund the replacement of the cremators, the council will push back their expenditure on creating new burial areas within the district by one year to 2026/27.

The cemetery will not be closed and mourners will still be able to pay their respects to their loved their loved ones who have passed away as normal, 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

Harrogate Borough Council has said that the work to replace the two cremators will begin in July next year. It is expected to take roughly 23-weeks to complete. It has also said that during this time there may be minor disruptions to the crematorium but it will not be closed for a significant period.