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Gateshead has two crematoria at Saltwell and at Birtley. Ceremonies for all religious, non-religious and cultural traditions are available at both.

A full funeral service may be conducted within the crematorium chapel, or alternatively the service may be held elsewhere with a committal service held at the crematoria. Twenty minute services are carried out throughout the day. The service can be extended at the time of booking if time is available and at an additional cost.  Facilities are provided in both crematoria, to play virtually any piece of music through a downloadable music system, providing enough notice has been given prior to the service taking place.

Shortly after the service the coffin is placed into the cremator, individually, one at a time. If relatives wish to watch the committal, crematoria staff must be informed at the time of booking.

The law requires that cremated remains are disposed of in accordance with the written instructions of the applicant. The options are:

  • the remains may be scattered in the crematorium's Garden of Remembrance
  • the remains may be collected by the funeral director and given to the family to do with as they wish, for example buried in a cemetery 

Cremation Authorities who are members of the Federation of British Cremation Authorities are required to operate strictly in accordance with the Code of Cremation Practice. This Code, which provides the only ethical standard of cremation practice in Great Britain, is often displayed in the public areas of the building.

The ICCM Charter for the Bereaved gives detailed information about all aspects of the cremation process and encompasses environmental and social aspects. We can provide information and guidance to you if you require. You can obtain a full reference copy of the Charter document from the ICCM website.

Recycling of metals recovered from cremation

In the past metals were removed from the ashes and buried in the grounds of the crematorium.  This has become less acceptable on environmental reasons.

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) has contracted ‘Orthometals’ to collect and recycle metals from participating crematoria throughout the UK.

All money from the recycling scheme will be distributed amongst selected charities with confirmation from such charities posted on the ICCM website.

Burial and cremation records

If you are searching for records visit our burial and cremation records page. 

Opening times

Crematorium Grounds
 MonthWeekdays and SaturdaySunday and public holidays 
April–September 9.00am–7.00pm 10am–7.00pm
October–March 9.00am–3.30pm 10.00am–3.30pm



Contact us

Bereavement Services
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Tel: 0191 433 3816 or 433 3811

Office opening times: Monday to Friday 9am-1pm, 2 - 4.30pm