BUILDING work at the Isle of Wight Crematorium, costing £1 million, is running behind schedule due to construction problems the Isle of Wight Council announced today (Thursday).
The refurbishment of the crematorium in Station Lane, Whippingham, which includes installing new cremators to meet new environmental standards, was due to be finished at the end of last year, but it is now thought that it will be ready by the end of this month.
John Metcalfe, deputy director for economic development at the Isle of Wight Council, said: "The project has been delayed because of a number of factors, including unforeseen problems with a roof, and the discovery of an unstable retaining wall.
"Due to the sensitive nature of the site we have been unable to make up lost time because of the need to keep the service open and be sympathetic to people attending the services."
He added: "We have already rescheduled the project so work is undertaken at the weekend and evenings to minimise disruption."
The council said funeral services had been affected and bookings were taking up to two and a half weeks. Mr Metcalfe said this was not unusual for this time of year.
He said: "I recognise that this has been a difficult time for the Island's funeral directors and am very grateful for how closely they have worked with us in programming funerals to allow sufficient time for the works to be completed without having a negative impact on the solemnity and dignity of the services.
"Inevitably, as we have increases in requests for funerals, we have delayed the works to keep waiting times at a reasonable level. The impact of this, and additional building works required during the project, has however resulted in delays to the building programme.
"This balance between delays and service delivery is under constant review by the professional and dedicated team at the crematorium who continue to work exceptionally hard to meet all the needs of the funeral directors."