Astwood Crematorium, Worcester

The ‘experienced and proactive’ multi-disciplinary design team chosen for the estimated £300,000 contract will refurbish and extend the late 1950s, two-storey brick building which sits within a 68ha cemetery on the northern fringes of the City of Worcester.

The £6 million project, planned to complete in 2026, will see the complex enlarged by 25 per cent and fitted with new cremators to replace its existing gas-powered facilities which are nearing the end of their operational life.

According to the brief: ‘The proposed works include alteration to the existing footprint with improvements and extension to visitor reception and chapel areas including a new Porte Cochere along with partial façade recladding.

‘As well as front of house the council are proposing improvements to back of house and operational areas including the replacement of the existing gas cremators which are nearing the end of their operational life. A final decision is still to be taken on either gas or electric cremators.’

Worcester is located on the banks of the River Severn around 50km south-west of Birmingham, and is home to around 100,000 people. Its skyline is dominated by the 12th-century cathedral and the former spire of St. Andrew’s Church.

During the medieval era the settlement was a major hub for cloth manufacturing and by the 18th century it was England’s preeminent centre for glove-making. The city centre was comprehensively redeveloped during the 1950s and 1960s.

Last year, Worcester City Council launched a contest for a new £75,000 art installation at the Royal Porcelain Works. In 2022, Burrell Foley Fischer won a contest for a £750,000 upgrade of Worcester’s historic Angel Place street market – part of a wider £30 million package of improvements to Worcester supported by the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

The search for a design team comes six years after the council launched a competition for a consultant to re-masterplan its city centre. In 2020, Moxon completed a new bridge for Worcestershire County Council to replace a dangerous signal-controlled pedestrian crossing across a busy A road.

Bids for the latest commission will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on price. Applicants must hold employer’s liability insurance of £5 million, public liability insurance of £10 million and professional indemnity insurance of £5 million.

Competition details

Project title Appointment of Multi Discipline Design Services for Astwood Crematorium Tintern Ave, Astwood Rd., Worcester WR3 8HA
Worcester City Council
Contract value £6 million
First round deadline Midday, 22 March 2024
Restrictions Tbc
More information


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