E. Peart Funeral Directors, Ryton, has joined the Funeral Partners family of high-quality funeral businesses to focus on serving its local community while it receives support with administrative duties.
Former owner Darren Johnstone was a schoolboy when he began helping the Peart family and their 90-year-old funeral home before joining full-time when he was 17.
In 1985 following the retirement of owners Bob and Joe Peart the business was purchased by local businessman Graeme Ward. Two years later, the funeral home moved to a new premises in Crawcrook, Ryton.
Darren built a strong relationship with Graeme as the pair ran the funeral home together. After Graeme suddenly passed away in 1994 and the business was left to Darren, he committed to running it with the same quality of service it became known for, which was a major factor in his decision to join Funeral Partners.
He said: “If the system works, don’t change it. This is something Funeral Partners understands very well.
“They approached me with a way for us to focus on serving families while they support with administrative duties, including the new requirements by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
“Funeral Partners are easy to work with and I look forward to seeing the business thrive as part of their family while I stay on to help.”
Tara Cameron, Regional Development Director of Funeral Partners in the North East and Scotland, said: “We are very excited about the future of E. Peart Funeral Directors and have planned a number of investments, such as a new removal vehicle and mortuary, while preserving the traditions that make the funeral home so great.”
Sam Kershaw, CEO of Funeral Partners, said: “E. Peart Funeral Directors has a stellar reputation in the area and for very good reason. We look forward to working closely with Darren, who has been with the business for nearly his whole life, to ensure the heritage and reputation of the business lives on.”