Games means new cemetery delay

Bothwellhaugh Cemetery
Bothwellhaugh Cemetery

Council chiefs insist there is no shortage of burial space in the area - despite a delay in the opening of a much-needed new cemetery.

Work on the £3 million Bothwellhaugh Cemetery was completed a year ago, but it isn’t up and running yet because of unspecified ‘snagging issues’.

Its opening is to be delayed further because Strathclyde Park will be hosting Commonwealth Games action in the summer.

Previously, North Lanarkshire Council had warned of the need to to get Bothwellhaugh operating as soon as possible with burial spaces fast running out elsehwere.

Bothwellpark in Bellshill was expected to be full in autumn 2013 and Airbles in Motherwell was due to reach capacity in summer this year.

However, the council now says both cemeteries will be able to offer new lairs until spring next year, removing the pressure to have Bothwellhaugh open at this point.

Kenneth Wilson, the council’s head of environment and estates, suggested the new cemetery’s opening be delayed until after the Commonwealth Games in August, and this was accepted by councillors.

The cemetery lies off the access road to Strathclyde Park from Bellshill. Mr Wilson said it’s an ‘innovative’ complex which ‘makes the most of the park setting’ and is ‘designed to be efficient and with green credentials’.

It will have more than 4,000 lairs, providing burial spaces for 20 years. Its pavilion has a waiting area and public toilets.

Councillor Harry McGuigan said the cemetery will provide a vital facility for the community in a central location. He accepted it makes sense to hold back the opening until after the busy Commonwealth Games period.