A PROJECT to upgrade Stourbridge Crematorium is now expected to cost around £2million after inspections revealed more extensive work is needed.

Dudley Council bosses had already given approval for revamp works to take place at the South Road crematorium, which opened in 1960, at a cost of around £1million.

But a report to the council's cabinet which is due to meet tonight (Monday January 6) says since the original cost of the project was approved in February 2018 it has become clear the work required is more extensive and it will cost an extra £1million.

The report states: "During site investigation inspections it became clear that to accommodate the new longer and larger cremators, an extension to the building will be required. Additional roof supports, insertion of steel members and work to the flue and chimney are all needed.

"Furthermore, work to the structural opening to allow coffins to transfer from the chapel to the crematory area is needed."

Surveyors also discovered the electricity supply is inadequate to operate the new cremators and associated equipment so a full rewire of the building is required, plus considerable work to the gas supply to ensure it complies with all necessary safety regulations.

It has also been determined that the roof needs replacing and further structural work is also now being proposed to help boost capacity in the small chapel to allow up to 30 additional mourners to be seated - "something members have been keen to see carried out" and something which, the report states, "is considered to be an important aspect of the project".

The cost of borrowing money for the extra work is expected to be met from Treasury budgets.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve the extra work and costs at tonight's meeting so the revamp project can go ahead as planned in early spring/summer.

The report stresses the current cremators are "past their intended operational life" and that parts are becoming increasingly difficult to source so "it is inevitable that at some point in the future parts for the cremators will break down and ultimately they may not be able to be replaced, resulting in an inability to cremate at Stourbridge Crematorium".

The crematorium is one of only a small number in the country still operating the type of cremators currently installed.