Construction of a new crematorium in Hemel Hempstead, which will serve the residents of West Hertfordshire, was marked with a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday 1 March 2022.
The ceremony was attended by members of the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee (WHCJC) and Council Leaders, all representing the five local authorities* involved in delivering the project.
The facility will be a sister site to the current West Herts Crematorium in Garston, Watford and is being developed to provide additional capacity in the West Hertfordshire region. Work started on site in November last year and is expected to be completed
by early spring 2023.
Featuring a remembrance chapel that sits within extensive landscaped grounds on land adjacent to the new Poppy Fields cemetery at Bedmond Road by Bunkers Park, the new crematorium in the area will reduce the time
that families have to wait to schedule a funeral for a loved one. It will also enhance the quality of service provided to bereaved families by increasing service times from 40 to 60 minutes so there is more time for individual ceremonies.
Leader of Dacorum Borough Council, Cllr Andrew Williams, who attended the ceremony, said: “This ground-breaking event is a significant milestone and I'm pleased our new crematorium will be a valuable community asset that local people will be proud of. We cannot remove the pain of bereavement, but we hope that by offering a tranquil and serene place to commemorate loved ones it will help make the process a little less stressful."
Deputy Mayor of Watford and member of WHCJC, Aga Dychton, who also attended the ceremony, said: “This is an important occasion for Watford and our neighbouring councils - it is great to see the site taking shape for our new crematorium. This facility will be a most welcome addition to our community and will allow us to provide a high-quality service to those who want to say goodbye to their loved ones in a beautiful and tranquil place.”
West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee, which includes representatives from all of the local councils in the area, and oversees the management and the operation of the existing crematorium in Garston will also manage the new facility. It will operate on the same basis as the existing crematorium with
services running Monday to Friday and general enquiries on Saturday.
*List of Joint Committee member attendees:
- Cllr David Major, (Chair of the Joint Committee), Three Rivers District Council
- Cllr Anne Swerling, Hertsmere Borough Council
- Cllr Aga Dychton, Watford Borough Council
- Cllr Terry Douris, Dacorum Borough Council
- Cllr Anthony Rowlands, St Albans City and District Council.
Council Leaders attending:
- Cllr Andrew Williams, Leader of Dacorum Borough Council
- Cllr Sarah Nelmes, Leader of Three Rivers District Council.