Sunderland ranked as most expensive location in North East for funeral costs

A study has found that Sunderland is the most expensive location in the region to have a funeral.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 15:47 pm
Sunderland has been ranked as the most expensive place in the region for funerals

This result comes from research by Royal London into the average cost of funerals in the UK.

Around 74,000 bereaved families in the UK are recorded to have struggled with funeral costs.

While the results show that the North East as a whole is one of the least expensive regions in the UK for a funeral, Sunderland has the most expensive average price within the North East.

According to Royal London’s research, the average cost of a funeral in the region is £3,659 but in Sunderland, the average cost is £3,853.

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A burial funeral in the city would cost around £4,388 while a cremation has an average price of £3,317.

Commenting on the findings, Royal London’s funeral cost expert, Louise Eaton-Terry, said: “As bereaved families continue to take on thousands of pounds of debt to pay for their loved ones’ funerals, support from the state remains woefully inadequate.

“The Government have tinkered around the edges and made some improvements to the Funeral Expenses Payment benefit, but the fact remains that the fund does not cover the full cost of a simple funeral. The value of the fund is seriously lacking with no serious action being taken to increase it and help support the bereaved who are being crippled with funeral debt.”

Coun Amy Wilson, who oversees bereavement services as part of her Sunderland City Council Cabinet portfolio for Environment and Transport, said: “The council keeps its part of funeral costs constantly under review and as low as possible while also reflecting the standards and services that the bereaved rightly expect.”

Across the whole of the north east, it is Darlington that is the most expensive for a cremation at £3,327 – only £10 more than Sunderland’s average.

Gateshead and Birtley are the least expensive locations overall with a basic funeral costing £3,502. Durham Central and Durham North have the lowest price for a cremation at £3,132.