Average cost of funerals in Sunderland is revealed

A funeral service.
A funeral service.

The average cost of dying in Sunderland is over £3,700, according to new research.

Statistics compiled by insurance firm Royal London show that the average cost of being buried in the city stands at £4,119 and at £3,313 for a cremation.

That means the average cost of funerals for Wearsiders is £3,716, with the average cost in the North East slightly lower at £3,679.

This year’s index also reveals that the average cost of a funeral in the UK has increased to £3,784.

For a second year, Kensal Green in London is the most expensive location in the UK for a funeral, with an average cost of £6,516, an increase of 1% from 2016.

Northern Ireland capital Belfast retains its place as the cheapest location with the average cost of a funeral at £3,036.

The research also found lower cost funeral options such as direct cremations - a no frills funeral - continue to be popular.

Of all the cremation funerals held, 10% did not include a ceremony or service.

However, those who choose to have a ceremony or service saw an increase in costs, with the amount spent on discretionary funeral items such as catering and venue hire rising.

The combined spending on venue and catering has increased by to £840 in 2017.

Portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland City Council Councillor Michael Mordey said: “The majority of costs are incurred with funeral directors making arrangements for internment.

“Local authorities have to charge for burial and cremation, to cover the costs associated with delivering a quality Bereavement Service to the city.

“This includes the management of our 10 cemeteries, including grave digging and ground maintenance as well as investment in infrastructure such as footpaths, access roads and perimeter walls, as well as investing in the crematorium to ensure statutory emission targets are achieved.

“Unfortunately we don’t have funds available to help us subsidise burial and cremation fees for people.

“We can however, help families with information on how to apply to the DWP for help thorough a Funeral Payment should they be on a low income and need support.

“In cases where a resident of the city passes away without means and if no living relatives can be found or are unable to pay for funeral expenses, the council will then meet its statutory obligation to afford any such person a dignified funeral and cover costs through Public Health funerals.”