POOLE Crematorium will be closed for 22 weeks as BCP Council carries out a major refurbishment project.

The Gravel Hill site will see improvements to the ceremony room and cloisters, the construction of a new covered external waiting area, plus renovation of the reception and waiting room, including the toilet facilities.

The work will also see the introduction of a wildlife-inspired mural by a local artist.

BCP Council previously said the crematorium would be closed for "several weeks".

Read more: Poole Crematorium refurb work will see funeral service pause

However, providing full details on the refurbishment project, it has now been confirmed Poole Crematorium will be closed from March 14, with a scheduled re-opening in late August, with services resuming in the first week of September.

Councillor Mark Anderson, BCP Council portfolio holder for environment and place, said: “The experience of many bereaved people throughout the pandemic has shown just how important the right time and space needed to grieve is, so these vital refurbishments at Poole Crematorium will make a real difference to residents in their times of grief.

"I am pleased that the grounds remain open and the works are about to begin.”

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Other improvements include the creation of a new Book of Remembrance private viewing room and a new outside floral wreath court alongside enhancements to the lighting in the car park.

The work is phase one of BCP Council's bereavement care business plan, which was approved by cabinet in late 2020.

No funeral services will take place during the closure of Poole Crematorium, but residents are welcome to continue to visit the grounds – the Woodland Glades and the Old and New Lawn areas remain open.

Read more: Poole Crematorium remains open only as a funeral venue

Witnessed ashes strewing services in the grounds will also continue by appointment. Bereavement staff will be present on site daily for limited periods to oversee care of these outdoor facilities.

Poole Crematorium’s Books of Remembrance have been temporarily relocated to secure and discreet rooms at Bournemouth Crematorium where they can be viewed by residents. They can also be viewed online from home or via their local library.

As reported, services have taken place at Poole Crematorium in recent years before bodies were conveyed to Bournemouth Crematorium for the cremation due to the worsening condition of equipment.

A decision has not been made by the council on whether the cremators will be replaced as part of phase two works.

For more details on the refurbishment, visit bcpcouncil.gov.uk/poolecrematorium.