The average cost of a funeral for people living in Hartlepool is over £3,600, new figures show.
Statistics compiled by insurance firm Royal London show that the average cost of being buried in the town stands at £3,982 and at £3,283 for a cremation.
That means the average cost of funerals for people in the town is £3,633, with the average cost in the North East slightly higher at £3,679. This year’s index also reveals that the average cost of a funeral in the UK has increased to £3,784.
For a second year, Kensal Green in London is the most expensive location in the UK for a funeral, with an average cost of £6,516, an increase of 1% from 2016.
Belfast retains its place as the cheapest location with the average cost of a funeral at £3,036.
The research also found lower cost funeral options such as direct cremations - a no frills funeral - continue to be popular.
Of all the cremation funerals held, 10% did not include a service.
However, those who choose to have a ceremony or service saw an increase in costs, with the amount spent on discretionary funeral items such as catering and venue hire rising.
The combined spending on venue and catering has increased to £840 in 2017.
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokeswoman said: “We truly sympathise with families grieving for the loss of a loved one.
“The organising of a burial or cremation can be a difficult and potentially distressing experience, and we always endeavour to provide the best support we can to assist in these circumstances.
“We work with the families’ appointed funeral directors to ensure the service elements we provide are of the highest possible standard delivered with the utmost care and respect, whilst also striving to keep our element of the fees – which largely provide the funding to run the cemeteries and crematoria – as low as possible.
“Whilst we have had to increase our burial and cremation costs this is also reflective of the wider regional picture.”