Although it has yet to draw up any architectural plans, Gillotts wants to expand its current premises into the police station in order to increase the number of chapels of rest to three, open a coffin showroom and add a second family room, where its staff meet with families to discuss their plans for their loved one’s funeral. The extension will also give it more space for vehicles by increasing its car park to the rear of the building.
The police station, which was built in 1878 and was later extended, was replaced last year by a new station co-located with Eastwood Town Council just 150 yards away. Inside it is still untouched, complete with its front desk and its one cell, which Gillotts plans to dismantle as part of its renovation work.
Joanne Hutsby, one of four partners in the family-run business, said that the expansion will benefit its customers and will also safeguard one of the town’s landmarks.
She said: “We’re very pleased to have finalised the purchase of Eastwood Police Station and we can’t wait to start drawing up plans which will give it a new lease of life. The original police station is a wonderful example of Victorian architecture and we fully intend to preserve its unique and characterful appearance.
“Inside, however, will be a different matter because it will enable us to enhance our offering to our families by creating more private spaces for them and allowing us to offer the flexibility they need during the time their loved ones are in our care.”
One of the first people to take a look round the police station following its purchase was Councillor Derek Burnett, Mayor of the Borough of Broxtowe, who served at the station while he was a police officer in the town between 1973 and 1984.
He said: “I have got many memories from my time when I was stationed here and it’s been a wonderful experience revisiting them. It’s a lovely old building and I’m delighted that it’s been purchased by a local company for a good cause. I look forward to coming back when it’s finished.”
Gillotts has operated from its Nottingham Road premises for more than 40 years and runs four other funeral homes in Kimberley, Stapleford, Selston and Heanor in Derbyshire.
It is the third renovation project that the company has undertaken, having helped to preserve the future of the former United Methodist Free Church in Main Street, Kimberley, by redeveloping its ground floor and reopening it as a funeral home.
Funding for the Eastwood police station purchase was provided by Barclays Bank, whose business manager, Tracey Turner, said: “I am delighted we have been able to support Gillotts with this purchase. The new premises will provide them with a platform on which to grow the business further.”