A Dorset funeral company has marked its 40th anniversary by investing more than £1.2 million in the business.
Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors now has one of the most state of the art mortuaries in the country following a major expansion of its Wimborne site.
The family owned company, which has won a string of awards in recent years, also has new chapels of rest, a new lounge area for families and new garaging and workshops.
Nicholas O’Hara, Chairman, said: “2014 has been a very special year for the company and this major expansion demonstrates our confidence in the future.
“We’ve grown from handling 11 funerals in our first year of trading to more than 500 annually. It shows there is still a place for family owned companies providing a highly personal and caring service.”
The expansion at the funeral director’s Rowlands Hill premises included purchasing an adjacent property, flattening it and then constructing a new building with new garages, workshops, storage and a staff flat.
The previous building was adapted to provide three chapels of rest, a lounge area for families and a new staff room.
Mr O’Hara, who has handed day-to-day running of the business over to his son, Anthony, said he was particularly proud of the new mortuary and theatre facilities.
“They provide the very highest standards for our clients and also our staff who will work in some of the most modern and up-to-date facilities available anywhere in the funeral business,” he added.
Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors employs 22 staff, including seven members of the O’Hara family, and also has offices in Verwood and West Moors.
Earlier this year the business, which is known for its fleet of silver vehicles, appointed chartered accountants and business advisers Princecroft Willis (PcW) as its new accountancy partner.
PcW Director Nick Love said: “Nicholas has built up a highly respected business which has won a succession of awards, the latest being Golden Charter Regional Funeral Planner of the Year.
“It’s a superb example of a family owned company providing the very highest standards of service but also investing for the future. We’re very proud to be working with them.”