Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Council agrees fees for new £5m crematorium in Co Antrim
The new £5m crematorium in County Antrim.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed not to charge cremation costs for residents or non-residents up to the age of 18 years.
Councillors were asked to consider fees at a recent behind closed doors meeting of the Operations Committee.
A report to the committee said:
“In May 2018, council approved the waiving of fees for burials and cremations for residents up to the age of 18 years.”
Councillors were also told the Department for Communities has established a Child Funeral Fund for Northern Ireland.
The Child Funeral Fund provides a one-off lump sum payment of £3,056 to cover the expense of a funeral after the death of a child under the age of 18 or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy regardless of the income of the claimant.
Site plan for the new crematorium.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council does not charge burial fees for child residents up to 18-years-old, those who are stillborn or those who are under 24 weeks’ gestation although non-resident fees apply,
Members had agreed a two-tier pricing system for adult residents and non-residents in 2020 ahead of the £5m crematorium’s construction which is taking place at Doagh Road although these have increased for non-residents.
The council is anticipating an average of six cremations daily. The maximum number per annum will be 1,560. The council hasn’t disclosed the crematorium’s projected annual income and operating cost amid uncertainty around future energy costs.
A live webcast service will be available to families at a cost of £30 further to an annual licensing and service fee incurred by the authority. In line with current arrangements for cemeteries, proof of residency must be provided to claim the resident fee.
Council minutes indicate cremations will take place from 10am until 3pm with services at hourly slots designed to allow 15 minutes for mourners to arrive and depart and 45 minutes for the service.
The memorial garden and grounds will be open at the same time as the borough’s cemeteries.
A spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is on schedule to open in June.