EXTENSIVE refurbishment work has begun on mortuary facilities for the borough's Jewish community.

Following generous donations given to fund the project, the current mortuary building at The Fed's Heathlands Village, in Prestwich, has been closed until August to allow for a modernisation and enlargement scheme.

The planning of the project has been overseen by the Manchester Chevra Kadisha, which is responsible for carrying out tahara ­— ritual preparation for Jewish burial.

Until the renovations are complete tahara will be temporarily taking place at North Manchester General Hospital.

Joshua Neumann, from the Manchester Chevra Kadisha, said: “The existing mortuary is somewhat dilapidated and no longer really suitable for purpose.

"We are extremely grateful to all of the donors for their wonderful generosity in enabling this essential project to proceed.

"The renovations will provide a dignified and respectful facility for the entire north Manchester Jewish community.”