Robert Carmichael, Estates Strategy and Planning Manager, and the team in Funeral and Life Planning, have been looking at how investment in our premises will help us to better serve our clients and communities. Robert shares with us what’s been going on so far and what we’ve still got to look forward to.
At the end of last year we opened our first purpose built mortuary in Edinburgh. It has state of the art equipment and facilities, meaning that we can provide the industry leading levels of service want to be known for. What’s really great about the layout of the mortuary is that it’s designed to complement the flow of Co-op Guardian, our online arrangement tool that’s been designed and developed by Funeralcare, for Funeralcare.
Having successfully delivered Edinburgh, we’re now at a stage where we’re able to invest a further £7.5m into additional mortuaries around the country. The first to be up and running will be the site in Fareham, which is due to open for business by the end of September. We then have four others in Swansea, Salford, Reading and Chester which are due to be ready for the end of the year, just in time to support during our busy period.
When it comes to our funeral homes, there’s been quite a bit happening there too. This year we’re investing £12m in upgrading the facilities in 270 of our homes across the country. Making these changes will help make sure we’re giving our clients and their loved ones the best possible care. In addition to this, we’ll have opened 25 new funeral homes by the end of this year, helping us to reach more communities and help more families when they need us.
Many of our funeral homes have independent names or old Co-op branding above the door, these are all being changed to the new Co-op branding to make it clear we’re part of their community. A number of our funeral homes are also having £6.5m invested in a full refit, we’ve done 25 so far this year and hope to have refreshed 68 by the time we’ve finished.
We’re investing a total of £50m into our estate, which will enable us to better serve our clients and communities.
Estates Strategy and Planning Manager