A cemetery is set to be extended as part of a £500,000 council project.
Horden Cemetery, situated in the village’s Thorpe Road, will continue to serve the community for many decades to come after it was at risk of running out of space for new burial plots.
Horden Parish Council has secured a £500,000 loan from the Public Works Loan Board in order to purchase and develop almost four acres of adjacent farmland in order to solve the increasing shortage of grave space.
The extension is expected to provide over 1,500 additional burial plots.
Archaeologists are expected to be launching a survey of th site in the coming weeks and the whole project is expected to be completed next year.
Parish council chiefs say the design plans have been approved to develop the much needed extension, which will also improve the drainage and pathways in the existing cemetery, which was opened in 1952.
Horden Parish Council says they conducted a public consultation exercise back in 2014 which led to the public’s views, comments and many ideas which have been implemented in the new design.
They say the whole development has been designed to provide a range of burial options sensitive to traditional and green burial practices.
There will also be much improved vehicular and pedestrian access is also included.
The council says it is aiming to provide visitors with a beautiful, landscaped designed environment, which is easily accessible to all those who seek a tranquil and contemplative setting, for generations to come.
Archaeologists from Durham University will be conducting a survey on the field within the next few weeks to record any evidence of past activity on the site and their results passed onto planners at Durham County Council before the development starts.
Isabel Roberts, chairman of Horden Parish Council said, “The extension of Thorpe Road Cemetery will provide much needed new burial space for the village.
“The council’s vision is to make the cemetery a real community asset and that is why the council are pleased that the local community has had a say in what should be included in the project.
“It is a long process, but once the extension is completed, it will provide Horden residents with the choice and peace of mind to know that they can be laid to rest in their village when the time comes.”
The cemetery extension is expected to be completed by mid-2018.
For further information contact Horden Parish Council Office on 0191 5180823 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org