A crematorium is getting set for a £1.3m facelift – so it can accommodate OBESE dead bodies.
The move will include the installation of a larger cremator capable of handling ‘over-sized’ deceased because existing burners cannot handle coffins more than 30″ wide.
Cremators at the Chanterlands Avenue North site in Hull, East Yorks., are over 25 years old and the size restrictions are forcing some families away from the area.
According to a Hull City Council report, many families are sending their loves ones outside of the city to be cremated due to them needing an extra-large coffin.
The most recent health figures show two thirds of adults in Hull are obese while 36 per cent of children are too heavy by the time they start secondary school.
The report by assistant customer services manager Lisa Buttery says the inclusion of one extra-large cremator as part of the upgrade would avoid having to turn away families in the future.
Ms Buttery said: “The crematorium currently has four cremators but cannot deliver a service to the over-sized deceased, due to the limited size of the current cremators.
“These cases have to be sent to another cremation authority.
“Funeral directors tell us that this sometimes causes further distress to local families as their loved one is sent out of town.”
Hull City Council council is set to borrow money to cover the cost of the £1.3m replacement programme.
The report says the current cremators are becoming “increasingly unreliable” and prone to regular mechanical failures.
“The maintenance contractor’s report confirmed that they are coming to the end of their life span.”
The facelift will see four new cremators installed at the Chanterlands Avenue site.
The replacement programme will be phased over next summer to ensure funeral services can still take place there.
The facility currently carries out an average of 2,500 cremations per year – which generates around £1.7m for the council.
In a comment in the report, cabinet portfolio holder Councillor Alan Clark said: “I fully support the option of four new crematories with all the new abatement equipment.
“This will bring the service to the forefront of efficiency and reliability, paying for itself and saving money for the council.”
Last year Liverpool City Council increased cremation charges for coffins in excess of 30″.
Families on Merseyside now have to pay an extra £200 with the council using the additional income to offset the cost of investing in two new larger cremators.