SIC set to dismiss multi-million pound cremation options

Councillors are expected to dismiss further exploration of two £7 million cremation options as the SIC tries to maintain and replace its burial grounds.

Instead, council officials will recommend they should prioritise the extension of burial grounds at the Knab and in Whalsay.

Options for a crematorium were explored, with further research into a water-based cremation service as a potential alternative. 

However, officials have asked councillors to throw out the idea because of cost restraints. 

In a report that will be given to councillors at next week’s environment and transport committee, potential costs for both options would be around £7 million each. 

The report said that a population of 150,000 would “typically” be used to justify the construction, and ongoing maintenance, of a crematorium. 

Fees for purchasing land, construction, design, planning and other work would take costs to the multi-million pound estimate.

The water-based cremation service would also have the same restraints, according to officials, although would be considered a more environmentally friendly option compared to a normal fire cremation.

Recommendations to the councillors will ask for extensions to the burial grounds at the Knab cemetery in Lerwick and the Whalsay burial ground at the Brough Kirk. 

Alternative grounds are to be explored for the communities in Voe, Weisdale and Bixter, if officials’ recommendations are approved. 

Closures of other sites across the isles, including in Unst, Bressay, North Roe and Hillswick will also be a part of SIC recommendations.

A feasibility study into developing or supporting an environmentally friendly “natural” burial ground has also been recommended.


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