A crematorium for pets could open in a former Whitehaven restaurant.

Plans have been submitted to Copeland Council for cremations to take place at what used to be Zest on Low Road.

The facility would be capable of taking domestic animals, from dogs and cats down to guinea pigs and birds.

Jeanne Park, the woman behind the application, says the new crematorium would see pet owners receiving the ashes much sooner.

She said: “At the moment pets are going to a crematorium between Carlisle and Penrith. Some are sent as far as Durham or Lancashire and people are having to wait for weeks.

"We will be able to offer guaranteed individual cremations with ashes returned within 48 hours.”

Jeanne says the interior of the building will be redesigned to allow for a reception area, a farewell room and a shop selling items such as cremation urns.

She said: “People will be able to say goodbye to their pet in the Farewell Room. They can sit there as long as they want until they are ready to say goodbye.

It’s a labour of love, really. We just want to offer people in West Cumbria a personal and cost effective service for their beloved pets”.

“We are very grateful to the Solway LEADER Action Group for their assistance securing partial funding of the project from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).”

If the plans go through, the crematorium will be open seven days a week and will be run by Jeanne along with two part time staff.

Pets would be collected from veterinary surgeries or their homes and taken to the facility in a specialised vehicle. If planning permission is granted the pet crematorium is expected to open by next Easter.

Zest on Low Road closed in January 2017 after 17 years. It was run by Ricky and Emma Andalcio.