A CREMATORIUM in Bannockburn is set to host its first funeral service this week.

Stirling Crematorium is set to relieve pressure on facilities in Falkirk and Perth, reducing waiting and journey times for families.

The doors opened on the site of the former Bannockburn Hospital to around 30 funeral directors from various firms.

Plans for the crematorium did draw some objections from locals, but full planning permission was granted by Stirling Council with a host of conditions around traffic, working hours and more.

Up to 1,100 cremations could be carried out a year, facility owners promising no fumes or smells coming from the chimneys.

Paul C Cuthell, of Thomas Cuthell & Sons Funeral Directors & Memorial Masons, was happy to see the new facility in operation.

He said: “Our family have served the bereaved across Forth Valley for well over a century, in that time we have seen a year on year increase in the number of people opting for cremation.

“The result of this has been that the one crematorium serving this area has become busier, which can result in an increase between the time of death and a funeral.

“The new facility at Bannockburn will enable us to provide a local alternative to our communities. We have already seen the benefits that The Westerleigh Group have brought through their West Lothian Crematorium, which was opened in 2010, and we are sure that Stirlingshire Crematorium will bring the same high standards that the bereaved should expect."

Bereaved families will be able to bury or scatter ashes in the garden of remembrance beside the crematorium building and to visit at a time of their choosing.

Services will work to one hour time slots.

Donald Connor, crematorium manager, added: “The crematorium is set in a peaceful rural location, and we are looking forward to serving the public with sympathy, care and understanding on what is often a difficult day.”