Thirty-year-old family business Howard’s Funeral Directors of Merseyside and Northamptonshire funeral directors Chambers and Brighty have become the latest firms to join the Funeral Partners family.
Howard’s becomes part of Funeral Partners’ new Merseyside area, while Wellingborough-based Chambers and Brighty sees Funeral Partners launch a new East Midlands area as the business continues to invest in funeral homes across the country.
Funeral Partners’ chief executive officer, Sam Kershaw, said: “We are delighted to welcome and invest in these two respected businesses, which have developed enviable reputations for professionalism and excellence. It is particularly exciting as Funeral Partners grows across all areas of the country to be able to establish ourselves in Merseyside and the East Midlands.”
Howard’s, established by Peter and Mavis Howard in Southport in 1988, is now run by their son Carl Howard and his wife Nicky. In 2012 Carl and Nicky opened their second branch in Station Road, Ainsdale, and, four years later, they relocated their head office to a purpose-built new site in Roe Lane, Southport.
Howard’s has conducted a number of high profile funerals including that of Jean Alexander, better known as Hilda Ogden from Coronation Street in 2016.
Both Carl and Nicky Howard are staying on to run the business along with their funeral director Derek Crawford, funeral service operative Chris Griffiths-Gripton and receptionist Helen Pitman.
Carl, who is now business principal of the business, said: “We chose Funeral Partners as we are too young to retire! They have been very supportive and straightforward to deal with and we believe that they will look after both our and our clients future.”
Chambers and Brighty was established in Wellingborough in 2000 by funeral directors Ian Chambers and Jeff Brighty.
Former Jeff Brighty, who is remaining with Chambers and Brighty as business principal, said: “Funeral Partners offered us the opportunity to continue working the way we did as an independent business, with lots of enhancements. They are investing in the premises and in the workforce.”
Funeral director Andy Cox and funeral service operative Scott Kelly are remaining with the business and have been joined by experienced funeral directors Richard Porter and Alex Whiting. Ian Chambers is remaining with Chambers and Brighty for three months, pending his retirement later this year.
Brighty said: “We’re looking forward to working with Funeral Partners. Our new manager Jason Price has been absolutely brilliant and has made us feel really at ease with the transition.”