Antrim and Newtownabbey Crematorium

Ganson UK has accomplished the successful delivery of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Crematorium, a cutting-edge facility that marks only the second of its kind to be built in Northern Ireland over the past six decades. 

Situated on Doagh Road in Newtownabbey, this impressive £5 million project encompasses a 950m2 brick building that houses the chapel, staff areas, utility provisions and two cremators. Additionally, extensive civil and landscaping works were carried out across the 4.2-hectare site, featuring a memorial garden, pond and a spacious car park accommodating 100 vehicles.

Previously, Roselawn Crematorium stood as the sole option in Northern Ireland. Originally designed to handle approximately 700 cremations annually, the soaring demand has escalated to over 3,500 cremations each year. Antrim and Netownabbey Crematorium was established to meet this surging need.

Given the solemn nature of its purpose, meticulous attention has been devoted to creating an aesthetically pleasing environment, both inside and outside the crematorium. The goal was to provide a serene atmosphere for mourners and ensure a dignified resting place for the departed at the new Crematorium. To facilitate a respectful transition, a highly sophisticated and bespoke motorised curtain system was designed and installed, enabling the remains to depart from the chapel to the crematorium.

The Antrim and Newtownabbey Crematorium project includes state-of-the-art audio and visual systems, facilitating live streaming of funeral services and ensuring the highest standards of music and visual tributes via TV screens supplied by Obitus, a leading UK provider of bereavement technology services. The Ceremony Room has a seating capacity of 164 individuals, with an overflow waiting room which is equipped with the screens and speakers.

The programme ran smoothly, however post commencement additions did impact the schedule as Paddy O’Hart, Contracts Manager explained, “The Crematorium Manager, who was appointed after works began on the project, had excellent suggestions to further enhance the facilities at the Crematorium. Although the additions did require adjustments to the programme, they were all to the betterment of the overall project.” 

Located opposite Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre, the crematorium is nestled back from the main road in a tranquil landscape setting of native trees, a wildflower meadow and seating areas for moments of reflection. The grounds at the crematorium are being developed further to include a memorial garden with above-ground vaults – known as a columbarium – and a scattering lawn provides a tranquil place to visit and offers choice for bereaved people when thinking about the final resting place for their loved one’s cremated remains, or when choosing a fitting memorial in commemoration.

Welcoming the new facility, the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Mark Cooper BEM said, “The new crematorium will provide a crucial service for families across all of Northern Ireland.”

Due to the lack of burial space the demand for cremations has increased significantly over the past number of years and this new crematorium will provide more options for bereaved families.”

Paddy O’Hart, Contracts Manager for Ganson UK, expressed his satisfaction with the completed project, stating, “This project was truly unique for Ganson UK, and we take great pride in presenting this impeccably finished building to the client for the benefit of the wider community. It is a remarkable achievement that adds to our reputation.”

He further highlighted the successful collaboration between the client and construction teams in designing and constructing the Crematorium and memorial garden, emphasising Ganson UK’s unwavering dedication to providing top-notch construction solutions across all sectors. “This accomplishment exemplifies our commitment to delivering high-quality results.”

Project team…

Client: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

Main Contractor: Ganson UK

Architects: Aecom

Mechanical Contractor: Anderson Mechanical

Electrical Contractor: JD McGeown

For the full feature on the crematorium, check out NI Builder 34-3 June-July here.