West Lindsey crematorium marks first successful year
The £6 million state-of-the-art facility, which was funded by West Lindsey District Council, has provided local mourners and funeral directors with an ultra-modern centre to host services for loved ones closer to home.
It was also crowned the ‘Best Service Team of the Year: Cemetery and Crematorium Service’ at the Association for Public Service Excellence annual service awards in December 2020.
Joe Birkett, of JE Thurlby Funeral Directors in Kexby near Gainsborough, is one of those who has welcomed the facility.
He said: “Lea Fields has had an incredible impact on our business since it opened last year, with more than 90% of our cremations now held at the facility.
“We used to have to hold services in either Lincoln or Scunthorpe – which can take up to an hour to get to – so having this amazing centre right on our doorstep has been invaluable.
“It makes the funeral process much easier for families and the feedback we’ve had about the services has been great.”
JE Thurlby Funeral Directors has held more than 30 funerals at the centre since it opened and has noticed a distinct increase in custom following its launch.
Joe added: “The building has been hugely beneficial for the local community and welcomed as a new asset to West Lindsey.
“Because it’s structurally impressive and landscaped well, even those who do not use the building can appreciate the benefits it brings to the landscape of Gainsborough.”
The multi-faith chapel can seat up to 120 people and is located in a tranquil, countryside setting surrounded by remembrance gardens filled with freshly planted trees and flowers.
Lea Fields Crematorium is the first development of its kind in the region.
It was built after statistics showed nearly 75% of funerals are now cremations and providing a local alternative would not only increase resources in the district, but reduce the travelling time required for residents to attend a funeral.
Coun Owen Bierley, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “We’re incredibly happy with the way that Lea Fields has been received by the local community and how much it is helping local mourners and funeral businesses in the surrounding area.
“The crematorium is a great addition to our wider portfolio of regeneration projects that are happening across West Lindsey and we look forward to developing the district further over the coming years.
“It has been a difficult year for everyone – no one could have foreseen the impact that Covid-19 would have across the globe – but we’re glad that the crematorium has prevailed during this challenging time and continued to provide this much-needed service to bereaved families across the district.”
Due to restrictions introduced during the pandemic, Lea Fields Crematorium has had to adjust to changing circumstances and introduce measures to ensure services could be carried out as safely as possible.
This included limiting attendees to a maximum of 30 people during approved periods, requesting visitors use face masks and hand sanitiser, and introducing the Track and Trace QR code at the centre.
Deborah Balsdon, manager at Lea Fields Crematorium, said: “It was absolutely paramount that we kept our services running throughout the pandemic as our community needed us more than ever before to provide safe, beautiful services for their loved ones.
“The team worked hard to make sure we remained compliant with the most up-to-date government advice and we made – and will continue to make – all of the changes necessary to ensure we can continue to provide high-quality services for the people of West Lindsey.”