THE opening of a £4million private crematorium near Lytchett Minster should help ease pressure on existing crematoria, its owners say.

Tapper Funeral Service hopes to open the Harbour View Crematorium this autumn. It will be the first crematorium to open in Dorset for more than 30 years, and adds to the counties three existing crematoriums at Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth.

Stephen Tapper, joint managing director at Tapper Funeral Service said: "We hope that by opening the crematorium at Harbour View it will ease pressure on existing crematoria and also provide a more convenient option for the bereaved in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorchester, Blandford and Wool."

Dorset's three existing crematoria have been working to capacity for many years, and Tappers hope the opening of Harbour View will help reduce funeral waiting times for grieving families.

Statistics suggest Poole Crematorium is the second highest in demand single chapel crematorium in the country, with Bournemouth fourth highest.

Harbour View Crematorium sits within a 70-acre site and will offer refreshment space and a kitchen. It will also be able to offer funerals at weekends.

Mr Tapper said: "It was important to us to design a crematorium which has spiritual identity and meaning by linking the building to the natural surroundings of Harbour View, reinforcing it as a place of calm.

"The structure of the building itself is of vernacular architecture design and influence has been taken from Nine Barrow Down in the Purbeck hills.

‘"We took time to research and visit inspiring crematoria in Paris as well as Stockholm’s Woodland Cemetery, before the design we have today was created."

The ten-year long project has seen a £4million investment into Dorset with local suppliers and resources being used throughout the build.

Bournemouth-based Glossbrook Builders are the main contractors on construction of the crematorium, and Purbeck stone has been used on the interior and exterior of the building.