Council removes ‘out of area’ cremation fees at Falkirk Crematorium

Cremation charges for the deceased from outwith Falkirk district will no longer apply in the region as part of a bid to lessen the financial impact of the impending opening of Bannockburn Crematorium.

Falkirk Council predicts around £550,000 in annual income will be lost due to Stirling and Clackmannanshire mourners using their local facility, due to be completed this summer, to pay respects to loved ones rather than Falkirk Crematorium.

With ‘out of area’ fees scrapped, families from outwith the region will now pay the same price as those who live here for cremations — a figure which will rise by 3 per cent as of April.

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Mourners can also pay for a direct cremation, which costs around half as much as a normal service.

Bannockburn Crematorium, on the site of the old Bannockburn Hospital, is nearing completion. Picture: Michael Gillen
Bannockburn Crematorium, on the site of the old Bannockburn Hospital, is nearing completion. Picture: Michael Gillen

The current £537 burial fees at the Camelon-based facility are to go up by 12 to 13 per cent, bringing the region in line with the 2018 Scottish average of £745.

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Falkirk Crematorium has undergone a refurbishment programme. Picture: Michael Gillen

The measures follow on from a lengthy refurbishment programme at the 1960s facility, which re-opened in July 2017 following a five-month closure to allow for the chapel to be extended to cater for larger services. Improvements remain ongoing at Falkirk Crematorium as the council seeks to offer a wider selection of services.

Councillor Paul Garner, spokesman for the environment, said: “We have to acknowledge that families may choose a facility close to their home and it has been recognised for some time that the opening of Bannockburn Crematorium may take business away from Falkirk.

“That said, the figure suggested in the budget report is only an estimate based on various assumptions and we won’t have a clearer picture until at least a year after opening.

“This figure has already been accounted for in forthcoming budgets set by the council.

“Falkirk Crematorium has recently undergone a £2.5 million upgrade that saw it redesigned and many improvements made.

“We also have work currently ongoing that will see new facilities offered to families such as a full multimedia experience to allow virtual attendance from anywhere in the world, a digital Book of Remembrance, memorial benches and trees and other improvements.”