A new community facility in Ferndown is hosting an open day on Friday October 6 – the recently rebuilt AE Jolliffe & Son funeral directors.
It has undergone a huge programme of development at the site on the town’s main crossroads.
It is part of Douch Family Funeral Directors, which has invested heavily in the rebuild to create a facility for the future.
The site included a 1930s house and a collection of buildings erected in a piecemeal fashion.
While the house remains, it has been extended to provide reception area, offices meeting rooms and five chapels of rest where families can visit their loved ones.
Beyond that is a garden of remembrance which people can visit at any time for a moment of calmness and serenity.
There is also now a purposefully designed ceremony room for funeral services. The space can be adapted for various other events, complimented by the adjoining function area.
Buildings for the other parts of the business have been added along with parking spaces for visitors and for the business’s funeral fleet.
During the open day – which is between 1pm and 5pm – refreshments will be available and there will be six community groups in attendance.
Tours of the areas not usually open to the public will be available and outside will be parked a hearse, motorcycle hearse and limousine that visitors can explore.
The workshop will also be open and visitors will be able to get some hands-on experience.
Nick Douch, managing director of the family firm, said: “The upgrading of our Ferndown facility is part of a rolling programme to improve all our seven branches in Dorset.
“The site was large but had not been maximised to its full potential over the years.
“However, we were able to get permission to make a far better use of the land and we are very pleased to be able to invite the public to come along.
“The new premises will enable people to have a funeral service and a wake in the same location, which is more cost effective and more practical.
“And we have installed technology so services can be broadcast to those who are unable to attend.
“The space is also available for community events and for clubs and groups to take advantage of.
“While we retain the important traditions of our long-standing branches, we are always looking to the future.”
The public are welcome to attend between 1pm and 5pm on Friday 6th October.