The average cost of a cremation at a public crematorium has risen by a third since 2010, the BBC can reveal.  An adult cremation costs an average of £640, according to Freedom of Information responses from local authorities that run crematoriums in the UK.

The cost of new anti-pollution equipment and larger coffins have been blamed.

Critics say crematoria are being run inefficiently.

More than 170 local councils each run at least one crematorium. In other areas they are operated by private firms.

The majority said price rises were linked to the cost of installing new technology to reduce the amount of pollution, in particular from mercury tooth fillings, in response to government guidelines.

‘Drastic increase’

Most crematorium managers have paid between £1m and £3m to upgrade equipment to comply with new environmental rules, Tim Morris from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) claimed.

“Costs to cremation authorities have increased drastically,” he said.

“Crematoria have had to completely replace all of their equipment to comply with changes in environmental legislation, the latest being additional equipment to filter pollutants from the waste gases.”

Many local authorities run cemeteries at a loss, Mr Morris said, with the surplus money made by crematoriums subsidising burial services.

In Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria, the fee for cremating an adult has gone up by more than 100% – from £359 to £721.

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