A stylish new café and function room is bringing an empty, old building back into use at Grimsby Crematorium.
Named Reflections, the tea room can be found in the newly renovated Crematorium Lodge.
Reflections offers refreshments and catering for people attending funerals and visitors to the cemetery and crematorium.
Upstairs is a function room available for anyone to hire for wakes, meetings and other gatherings.
The Bereavement Services team are running the new café and offering a 10 per cent discount on the menu to public sector key workers.
The refurbishment was designed and project managed by North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration services partner EQUANS.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“It’s fantastic to see Reflections welcome its first customers. It’s a wonderful new venue and I’m grateful to the project team who have done a terrific job in bringing an empty building back into use.
“Reflections is the latest part in an ongoing transformation project to improve our services for bereaved families and the wider community.
“Recent improvements include the launch of the Treasured Memories pet crematorium, the car park extension and the restoration of the Chapel and cemetery gates.
“The next stage of the project is the restoration of the Scartho Cemetery Lodge, which has stood empty for about 15 years.”
Reflections was officially opened by the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Cllr Stephen Beasant on Monday 1 August. It was given its name following a public vote in 2020.
At the opening, Cllr Beasant said:
“The new café is set in some of the nicest surroundings you could find in the borough, it really is lovely.
“The team has done a great job and I’ll definitely be back again. Well done to everyone involved.”
Reflections is open daily from 9am to 4pm. Please call 01472 324869 for bookings and enquiries.
The existing Crematorium Lodge was built circa 1954 at the same time as the Grimsby Crematorium. The building was originally used as a gatehouse and accommodation for the groundskeeper who tended the extensive Crematorium landscaping. It went on to serve as office accommodation for a local mental health charity who eventually vacated the building in 2016. The building has been empty since.
After a lengthy consultation and design process, EQUANS have worked with NELC’s Bereavement Services over the last year to refurbish and extend the existing building to form the new tearooms. The concept for the tearooms evolved due to a lack of refreshment facilities within or near the Crematorium or Cemetery or any space for families or friends to get together after a service.
The project has involved the construction of a large two storey extension on the southern elevation of the current lodge building and a single storey extension on the rear eastern elevation of the building. The existing building element has been reconfigured and refurbished, including a new roof, doors and glazing.
The original building has been brought up to current building regulations standards, meaning it is better insulated and more economical to run. The original building now accommodates toilets on both floors along with a small office on the first floor. A platform lift provides easy access to the first floor for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility and a new staircase wraps around the lift to the first floor.
The large two storey extension contains a ground floor servery and dining area for up to 40 people. A glazed wall and doors open out on to a garden terrace which can be used for outdoor eating in the summer. The first floor of the two-storey extension offers a large multifunctional space which can be used for wakes, social events, meetings and as a training facility.
It can accommodate approximately 40 people depending on configuration and has views over the new gardens, the adjacent allotments to one side and the Crematorium building and gardens to the other side. This space will also be available for hire for community functions, classes and meetings. The rear, single storey, extension is where the new commercial kitchen and plant room are located.
Gardens and planting
The main entrance to the building is now on the north elevation allowing visitors to enter the building directly from the car park. The gardens on this side of the building have been newly planted to provide a welcoming approach with two mature trees framing the footpath.
The new extension is substantially screened by existing hedges, so is architecturally respectful of the services being carried out in the Crematorium building. The surrounding gardens have been generally improved to create a green, desirable and peaceful environment for all users.