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Gateshead has two crematoria, at Birtley and at Saltwell. 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.

There are facilities in both crematoria to play virtually any piece of music, providing enough notice has been given before the service takes place.

Shortly after the service the coffin is placed into the cremator. 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.

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 (opens new window)

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (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.

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 for environmental reasons. The ICCM has contracted OrthoMetals (opens new window) 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 posted on the ICCM website (opens new window).

Burial and cremation records

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

Contact us

Bereavement Services
Gateshead Council
Park Road Depot
0191 433 3816 or 433 3811 

Office opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm