Contracts have been signed for new multi-million-pound crematorium for Huntingdon

From left to right, is the Managing Director of Kier, Mark Dady and Mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Stephe

From left to right, is the Managing Director of Kier, Mark Dady and Mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Stephen McAdam - Credit: Archant

A multi-million pound crematorium is one step closer to being built after the contract was signed last week.

At an Extraordinary Town Council meeting on December 19, the contract for Huntingdon Town Council's new crematorium was signed by the mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Stephen McAdam and the managing director of Kier Construction Eastern, Mark Dady.

The contract is for £6million, including the building, landscaping and electric cremator. The all-electric cremator will be the first of its kind in the UK and will be provided by DFW Europe, which is based in Alkmaar, Netherlands.

In January of last year, plans for the crematorium and cemetery near the Jubilee Park sports facility, were approved by Huntingdonshire District Council's development management committee.

The application, which was submitted by the town council, is for a crematorium, café and memorial gardens opposite Mayfield Heath Farm, in Sapley Road, Kings Ripton.

At the same meeting, however, councillors rejected a rival bid to build a crematorium a short distance away at Sawtry Way, in Wyton, for a second time.

The application was previously rejected in December 2017 on grounds that it was unsustainable.

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However, in June national funeral firm Dignity UK Ltd won a planning appeal over its plans to build its own crematorium.

The decision means that the Huntingdon area, which does not have a crematorium, could soon have two a little more than a mile apart.

Both projects estimated a need for around 1,000 cremations a year and there would be an impact on each scheme if both opened, but the inspector said that only one scheme was put forward the need for the area "would not be fully met".

After signing the contract for the town council's plans, the mayor of Huntingdon Councillor Steve McAdam said: "After many years of planning, we are delighted to get to the stage of signing the contracts for the new crematorium.

"We are especially pleased with the environmentally friendly electric cremator, which will be a first for the UK. It is a very exciting project for the town of Huntingdon and for Huntingdon Town Council."