A £250,000 project to improve facilities at North Devon Crematorium will begin next month.

The Rowan chapel at North Devon Crematorium.The Rowan chapel at North Devon Crematorium.

The crematorium’s original chapel, the Aspen chapel, will undergo a major refurbishment after getting approval from North Devon Crematorium Joint Committee.

The committee, made up of councillors from North Devon and Torridge councils, agreed the scheme of work, which includes replacing or refurbishing every element of the chapel, enhancing disabled access and adding infrastructure for benefits such as web casting, recording and video tributes.

Work begins on January 2, and is expected to finish on March 15.

The upgrade is the second major investment in the facilities at the crematorium – the 256 seat Rowan chapel opened in 2016.

The Aspen chapel at North Devon CrematoriumThe Aspen chapel at North Devon Crematorium

North Devon Crematorium Joint Committee, Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, said: “This is something we have been planning for some years and is part of a series of improvements that began seven years ago with new cremators and abatement equipment being installed and the wonderful 252-seat Rowan Chapel in 2016.

“The aim is to retain the original charm and intimacy of Aspen chapel whilst bringing the quality of the facilities to the very highest modern standards.

“The entire program of works has been undertaken by retaining some of the operating profits of the crematorium, ensuring there are no costs to local residents.”

Crematorium manager Mark Drummond said all services would be moving to the Rowan chapel while work is carried out.

He said: “We have a tight 10-week program of works and, whilst there will be some disruption to parking on site, we will be temporarily moving all services to the Rowan chapel, so there will be no reduction in the availability of services during the works.

“I apologise in advance if for any difficulties this may cause and would ask anyone who is worried about how it affects them to get in touch with a member of staff at the crematorium, or speak to their funeral director, to see if there is anything we can do to help.”