Plans to refurbish Hartlepool's Stranton Crematorium Chapel after it falls into 'poor condition'
Stranton Crematorium Chapel is being lined up for a refurbishment by council chiefs.
The building was built in the late 19th century and options are to be considered by councillors on work which is needing to be done to the building.
A report to go before Hartlepool Borough Council Neighbourhood Service Committee states the chapel is in a ‘poor condition’ and has suffered ‘repeated rainwater penetration over many years’.
A number of options have been considered as solutions including doing nothing, or closing the building for three to four months whilst work was carried out.
Council officers also considered using an alternative structure for services such as a temporary building, and a consultation was held with undertakers in February 2018.
However the report from Tony Hanson, council assistant director of environment and neighbourhood services, states the preferred option is to keep the chapel open and work around the services.
He warned this would extend the contract and increase costs, but closing the chapel for a long weekend could be an option.
It said: “The chapel is a key asset as the town’s only crematorium providing an essential service to people both from Hartlepool and further afield.
“It is considered that there is a need to provide this investment in order to ensure that the service can continue to be delivered in an environment that reflects its sensitive nature.
“The consultation showed strong support for the refurbishment of the chapel whilst still in operation.
“It is considered that the most effective way to deliver this would be to work Friday to Monday in order to minimise the impact that the works will have on the day to day running of the service.
“The programme of works would be carefully designed to minimize the disruption as availability of the chapel is essential.”
The building will need a scaffold installation externally for pointing and internally for plasterwork, lighting installation and decoration.
Temporary staging,curtains and opening to the crematorium room would need to be constructed when services move from the main chapel to the secondary chapel in the building to allow for work.
The report stresses work areas would be discreetly isolated from the service area and construction would not be carried out during services.
The proposals will go before the Neighbourhood Services Committee on Friday for approval and to be referred to the Finance and Policy Committee for funding.
The meeting will take place at 1pm at the Civic Centre.