A New Crematorium for West Herts - Overview & Latest Updates
Planning for our future
West Herts Crematorium (WHC) which opened in Garston, Watford in 1959 is one of the busiest crematoriums in the UK performing over 3,000 cremations annually for residents in Watford Borough Council, Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council and Three Rivers District Council.
The rising demand for cremations at the facility can result in people having to wait up to three weeks for a funeral during peak periods in winter months. Customers frequently request more flexible and creative ceremonies but the current site in Garston has limited capacity and no expansion space.
For this reason West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee who run WHC decided back in 2018, to build a sister crematorium in Hemel Hempstead. This will enable additional capacity to be provided in the West Hertfordshire region.
The positive impact of the new facility
Building this second facility will enable West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee to:
- Reduce waiting times for services during peak periods
- Enhance the quality of service provided to bereaved families by increasing service times from 40 to 60 minutes (this allows for 40 minutes in the Chapel) so ceremonies are less rushed and more creative
- Provide a complementary service between the Garston and Hemel Hempstead sites which increases the choice available to residents.
The new crematorium is adjacent to the new Poppy Fields cemetery at Bedmond Road by Bunkers Park in a quiet and tranquil space. The site is well located in terms of its local and wider road network and is also accessible through the local walking, cycling and public transport networks that surround the site.
Completion of the project is expected next Spring 2023.
Providing a beautiful and tranquil space
Following a ground breaking ceremony with members of the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee in March, construction work is well underway at the new facility. The carefully considered design aims to create a beautiful and sensitive environment for mourners and also includes extensive landscaping works.
How the New Crematorium will be run
West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee, who oversee the management and the operation of the existing crematorium in Garston will also manage the new facility. It will provide the same high quality service associated with WHC with services running Monday to Friday and general enquiries on Saturdays.