MUSLIM burials will take place in a new section of a Blackburn cemetery later in the summer as the current section is almost at capacity.

The Muslim section of Pleasington Cemetery is close to being completely full, with volunteers saying only 25 to 30 plots remain on the site.

A large part of the existing section was filled during the Covid pandemic with some months seeing more than 50 burials taking place.

At height of the pandemic, during a five-month period between October 2020 and February 2021, there were 206 burials in the Muslim section of the cemetery off Tower Road. 

Throughout the process, dedicated volunteers from mosques and the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society (BMBS) have been supporting the Blackburn with Darwen Council’s burial team. 

Imran Patel, a spokesperson from the BMBS said: “Anyone who has been to the Muslim section will see that the area is almost filled up.

"Twenty-five burials took place during the month of Ramadan itself but this is still well below the numbers experienced at the height of the pandemic where sometimes there were, sadly, five or six burials a day.

“We will be looking to do the first burials at the new site in late summer once the present section is full."

The new site is at the top side of the cemetery and will include a car park and newly built prayer shelter which can accommodate larger numbers of mourners.

Blackburn with Darwen Council said there are 2,857 plots in the new cemetery extension, of which 946 are single depth graves, which can be used for burying those from the Muslim community.

This new section will cover approximately around five years of burials.

The existing prayer shelter is still in use and is not being decommissioned.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The new burial section (Pictures LT/AI)

Lancashire Telegraph:

The existing prayer shelter at Pleasington Cemetery

Imran added: “We would also urge people to be more careful when parking.

"It is best to come early and park in designated areas only and not on yellow lines.

“Volunteers have been really good over the past few years and helping to manage traffic.”

With the Eid festival falling on one day earlier this month, the cemetery was unusually busy but volunteers they coped.

On Eid day it is tradition for people to visit the graves of their loved one after morning prayers.

Cllr Suleman Khonat, Blackburn with Darwen's new mayor, said: “It went very well to be fair. 

“A big thank you to all the volunteers and traffic marshals for their support, they all did a great job.”