ROTHERHAM Crematorium could be extended to allow more people to attend funerals.
The facility in East Herringthorpe, which is understood to have a capacity of around 100, is set to be refurbished to include a mezzanine floor.
Rotherham Borough Council and crematorium operators Dignity said the plans were still at an early stage.
One mourner, who asked not to be named, told the Advertiser she was disappointed the building’s balcony level was closed at a service she attended.
She said the crematorium’s restrictive size meant many people were forced to stand in the ante room or aisle - or even outside.
“It is difficult to hear or see the proceedings,” she said. “It is often bitterly cold outside and mourners are often elderly. This is a poor situation.
“The acoustics also leave a lot to be desired.”
The council and Dignity said in a statement that the “balcony” was originally an organ loft and not considered safe to use.
“It is not designed to hold large numbers of people,” they said, adding: “The front balustrade is at a low level, with low level windows that could present a risk.
“For this reason, access to the balcony is currently closed.”
On the subject of possible expansion, the statement continued: “Although seating within the chapel is adequate for most services, we are investigating the possibility of reconfiguring the building to increase capacity, including installing a mezzanine floor.
“The refurbishment would result in a vastly improved facility.
“However, plans are still at very early stages and may be subject to planning permission.”
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