Northumberland crematorium will not re-open until October

Fire crews attend a fire at Cowpen Crematorium in Blyth.
Fire crews attend a fire at Cowpen Crematorium in Blyth.

A county crematorium hit by fire earlier this year will not re-open until October.

A new roof should be on by the end of June which will ensure the building is fully watertight before specialists begin replacing all the damaged mechanical and electrical components.

A detailed investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing and forensic investigators have not yet released their final assessment. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the fire was started deliberately.

Early indications are that the most likely cause was the transfer of heat from machinery and flues into the roof structure.

This heat transfer may have then caused a fire to break out in the roof.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment, said: “We appreciate the significant distress and inconvenience this has caused to families and have been working hard to get this facility up and running again as quickly as possible.

“We now have a clear timetable of works and the crematorium will re-open for services in mid-October.

“We’re continuing to work with neighbouring local authorities and have received excellent support from them to ensure that bereaved families are able to access crematorium services without any delays.

“We’re also working closely with funeral directors to keep them updated on developments.”

Bereaved families are still welcome to scatter cremated remains in the grounds of the Blyth crematorium and the Council is still undertaking burials at the Blyth Cowpen cemetery.

Anyone with concerns or questions about the crematorium can ring the council’s customer service line on 0845 600 6400 and one of the authority’s customer service team will be able to help.