CEMETERY bosses are set to introduce ‘direct cremations’ to boost funds at Easthampstead Park, meaning bodies can be cremated before funeral services go ahead.

Bracknell’s crematorium could offer the new service for £285 if council chiefs rubber-stamp the proposed move next week.

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A report for Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) members claimed the number of funeral services taking place at the site since its second chapel opened last year has not been as high as expected.

Bracknell News:

This means the crematorium has made £180,000 less than expected from funeral services.

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The report read: “Direct cremations offer an opportunity to supplement existing services and generate additional income that may help to bridge some of this gap.

Bracknell News:

“Services have so far been up by only 2.5 per cent from last year and it is therefore clear that new income-generating ideas are required.”

Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium (EPC&C) carries out an average of 40 cremations per week, according to BFC, but bosses were hoping this number would rise to 48 when the second chapel opened.

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Over the course of a year, this would mean more than 2,400 cremations.

BFC’s report claims direct cremations are a “new and increasingly popular national service” and is a service only offered at four other crematoriums in the south-east.

Bracknell News:

According to council data, EPC&C’s direct crematorium service would be the cheapest when compared with the other sites.

Should the plans go ahead, up to 32 more cremations could take place every week.

BFC’s top team meets on Tuesday, December 17, to make a decision on the proposal.