The long search for a new Carrickfergus cemetery is to be given fresh impetus as the Victoria Road site gets closer to reaching capacity.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council recently agreed to advertise for a potential location to succeed the existing Victoria Cemetery.
There has been a pressing need for increased cemetery provision in the town for some time, according to veteran Councillor Jim Brown.
“Victoria is the only remaining viable cemetery in Carrickfergus as North Road is, for all intents and purposes, full,” Cllr Brown said.
“As the name suggests, the cemetery dates back to the reign of Queen Victoria. Space at the graveyard has been an issue ever since I first came onto the council in 1980. At that time, the cemetery was being landlocked by the construction of houses at Old Grange.
“Victoria Cemetery is nearing the end of its useful life span; once the new section is up and running, there won’t be adequate space for the future.”
The last remaining section of the cemetery is currently being developed, Cllr Brown added.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Council said: “There are six years’ burial capacity presently in the Victoria Cemetery.
“Council will now move to identify land so as to allow time for procurement and to obtain the appropriate permissions in good time.
“An advertisement has already been drafted and will be published in the near future.”