New north east funeral hub

Purves hub

Five Northumberland funeral firms will benefit from a rebrand and major £1.5 million investment as funeral director William Purves brings its northern branches under one banner and adds a new funeral hub for the North East.

This significant investment from one of the largest independent funeral directors in the UK unites five legacy firms – Gary Staker, Jacob Conroy & Sons, Alistair Turner, Tom Woodhouse and Peter Grenfell – under a single brand identity.

Together as part of William Purves, they will continue to serve local communities from existing branches and benefit from access to a state-of-the-art central hub at the Peter Grenfell funeral home in Ashington. The building has undergone a £1.5 million refurbishment and is now a purpose-built funeral home with increased resources all of the branches can access.

North East regional manager Gary Staker said: “While local people may notice a new name and identity for the five firms, the biggest changes are behind the scenes. A new mortuary and embalming theatre means that we can really back up what we offer to families and give them more time with their loved one. It has been such a benefit during the second wave of COVID-19 because, with five businesses across seven sites, it meant we could manage the workload and bring staff in to help where needed.”

The acquisition of businesses across Scotland and North East England has been organic as William Purves has been approached by businesses looking to sell.

Tim Purves, chairman of William Purves, said: “As a fifth generation family business, William Purves is rooted in local communities. Our North East firms are a key part of our family and this investment brings together five of the industry’s best under one banner and ensures they can deliver the highest quality funeral services, today and tomorrow.”

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