Local clergy and funeral directors recently attended a guided tour of the site, followed by a presentation of the services and facilities which will be offered when it opens in October. The facility is owned and operated by Memoria Ltd.
The Vale of Glamorgan Memorial Park and Crematorium is located near Wenvoe Castle, Barry and has been designed to be in keeping with the Vale’s surroundings, using, where possible, local materials and products such as Welsh slate and stone.
The memorial gardens will offer memorialisation made exclusively from either Welsh lime or sandstone and so will blend perfectly with the surrounding beauty and rural aspect of the Vale.
The chapel will be able to seat 76 people, but it will be possible to expand this to 96. It also has the potential to stand and seat 200 people by including the foyer space, and can potentially hold over 400 people on the site by piping the service outside under the porte-cochere. Parking for 100 vehicles will be available.
Within the chapel there will be a hearing loop, a Wesley music system, organ, public address system, two flat screen TVs for pre-recorded eulogies or photographic presentation and web cam facilities for internet viewing for those unable to attend a service.
Service slots will be made available at 45 minutes duaration and can be extended upon request. Services can also be booked outside of normal hours and at weekends. The grounds, which will include a memorial garden on the 20 acre site, will be open to the public all year round.
It is also hoped to add natural burial and traditional flat stone burial sections and additional planning permission is being sought accordingly.
This much needed facility has created four new permanent jobs, with the potential for more. Moreover, it will potentially generate additional stimulus for the local economy due to the number of extra people who will visit the area each year as a result.
The main contractors on the site are Cardiff based Brittania Construction and many of the sub-contractors have been chosen from local Barry or Cardiff firms.
Memoria was incorporated in 2003 by three directors, who between them have over 85 years experience in the sector. The mission statement of the business is to provide exceptional standards of service and facilities to bereaved families, with a responsibility and duty to be dedicated, efficient and supportive.
Funding to achieve the construction of the Barry site has been provided by NatWest, alongside the shareholders of Memoria investing their own personal resources.
Speaking about the progress of the construction, Memoria chairman, Howard Hodgson a fourth generation funeral director who trained with James Summers of Cardiff said: "We are extremely pleased with the progress and are on schedule to formally open in October. We have been very careful to ensure that the appearance of the site fits in with the surroundings of the Vale. We have also employed the latest technology so that the facilities offered provide real assistance to families at a difficult time. We know that we cannot ever take away the pain of bereavement but it is always our duty, by combining modern systems with excellent standards of service, to support the families who need our services. Thus we feel that the new crematorium and memorial park will provide a valuable service to the community and also provide choice for people when looking to honour and remember their loved ones."
Gary Johnson, relationship director, commercial banking at NatWest added: "The site is really coming along and is very well placed to open in October. The directors of Memoria are extremely experienced in developing and running crematoria and will bring this expertise to the local community of the Vale of Glamorgan."