South Shields Crematorium

Project Management of the South Shields Crematorium Upgrade


South Tyneside Council


South Shields


August 2022



Appointed as Project Managers on the major remodelling of the South Shields Crematorium, to regenerate the 1960's facility which saw the chapel area extended into the existing courtyard. The enlarged chapel can now cater for larger funerals by increasing capacity by a total of 126, providing seating for more than 200 visitors as well as additional standing space. The pulpit and seating were rearranged to provide better sight lines.

The £800,000 eight-month project included a scheduled three-month closure over the summer months. The council took advantage of the period to upgrade its cremators which were almost 25 years old. The new wider cremators not only accommodate larger coffins but are more energy efficient and will help to reduce the building's carbon emissions by around 240 tonnes per year. Our appointment was amended to provide Project Management services to the integration of both projects.

Collaboration was key to this project to develop and implement a detailed programme, ensuring that funeral services could continue. This required the contractor’s team to work weekends and unsociable hours for the first 5 months of the programme, leaving the crematorium fully operational for 3-days per week.

Following each ‘closed’ period the contractor would reinstate the building to the fitting and respectful space required to support grieving mourners.

The success of the scheme is down to the great team effort of all project partners coupled with the adoption of a flexible approach to programme planning and out of hours working by the site team.

Completing the works on programme whilst maintaining quality was critical to the Council. The efforts made by the Council and construction team were rewarded with a light and modern space that really brightens a key South Tyneside facility.

“It was an absolute pleasure to work alongside Helm Consulting on this hugely sensitive but highly successful project. The residents of South Tyneside now have a beautiful, modern, fully refurbished crematorium chapel that will serve them for many years to come.

 “The significantly increased seating capacity means fewer mourners have to stand outside during each service, and the new state-of-the-art audio-visual system provides high quality output and an opportunity for families to play photographs or home videos on screens within the chapel”.

 “Feedback from funeral directors and the public has been extremely positive, with some families now opting to hold their loved ones’ funerals at South Shields instead of their own local crematorium.” 

 Lynne Maughan, Bereavement Services Manager

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