Newly refurbished Mortonhall Crematorium opens to public

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Mortonhall Crematorium has been officially reopened following a £2.1m programme of refurbishment.

The major renovation project aimed to develop a modern, customer-focused facility at the same time as repairing damage resulting from a significant fire in 2015.
Amongst improvements are the creation of customer-facing offices, a new family room providing privacy and sympathetic surroundings and a refreshed external waiting room including updated décor and an oak site plan specially made by the Grassmarket Community Project.
In addition, the main chapel’s organ has been restored to improve sound quality, while the installation of high-definition web cameras will enable the streaming of services to the internet for those who can’t attend, or, for large funerals, to the smaller chapel for extra guests.
Robbie Beattie, Scientific Bereavement & Registration Services Senior Manager, said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment of Mortonhall Crematorium, which will provide mourners with a much more comfortable and welcoming atmosphere during what can be a very difficult time.
“Unfortunately this major project required the temporary closure of crematorium buildings, but we have worked closely with funeral directors and contractors to ensure alternative measures were put in place, and that the work was completed as quickly as possible.”
Now in its 50th year, the iconic crematorium was originally designed by renowned Scottish architect, Sir Basil Spence, and incorporates the largest main chapel in the east of Scotland, accommodating 360 people.
As well as improvements to the crematorium’s environment, the refurbishment has replaced fire-damaged cremators and installed mercury abatement equipment to minimise emissions, in addition to a new concrete roof which will substantially reduce future fire risk.
Crematorium officers have  new uniforms and rooms for ministers, celebrants and funeral directors have been upgraded with modern furniture. 

Changes include:

  • New funereal dark grey tartan uniforms for staff 
  • Music supplied from a state-of-the-art electronic system with access to an online library, from which a large variety of music can be sourced. 
  • Refurbishment of the crematorium’s 50-year-old pipe organ
  • Screens available in both chapels to display visual tributes. Additional facility for services to be streamed live to a password-protected internet site for those who are unable to attend a funeral 
  • A new induction deaf aid loop in both chapels to provide those with impaired hearing an opportunity to listen to the service.  
  • An accessible public toilet in the crematorium office 

Mortonhall crematorium features the largest main chapel in the east of Scotland, which accommodates 360 (310 seated and 50 standing) with space for more at the entrance where speakers relay the service. The additional Pentland Chapel accommodates 80 (60 seated and 20 standing) with space for more at the entrance.
Find out more about Mortonhall Crematorium on the Council website.

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