- Available burial space.
Arnos Vale currently has approximately 70 – 80 traditional burial plots available without having to develop the landscape. A further area earmarked for woodland burial would cost approximately UKP50K to develop a further 400 plots. Once these plots are filled there will be a direct threat to cemetery revenue.
- Short Lease/No removal of remains
When plots were purchased they were sold with 50 year leases. More recently this has dropped to 30. Once leases are up it is it really difficult and sensitive to re-lease a grave due to poor record keeping (meaning families are difficult to trace) or unwillingness to renew. The Trust will not remove remains from plots which means there is a lost potential revenue in excess of £25million from the 300,000 souls remembered at Arnos Vale.
- Perception of closed cemetery
The popularity of Arnos Vale as a visitor attraction and wedding and events venue has meant the perception has been that Arnos Vale is not a working cemetery. The closure for a period when the Trust took over from the private owners has also led to some viewing Arnos Vale as closed.
- Conflicting Views within Arnos Vale
The Friends movement are a large part of the voluntary labour force that keeps the cemetery running and have a strong voice and input into the running of the cemetery. This pressure group needs to be consulted when strategic changes in direction are proposed and they often have conflicting views to the Trust Board on commercial decisions.
- No Admission Fee
As an open site with multiple entry points Arnos Vale is unable to charge an admission fee to the heritage attraction and can only request donations.
- Culture Shift to Cremation
Burials are becoming less popular in the general population as there is a cultural shift towards cremation.
- Limitation of current buildings and infrastructure
There is a limitation in the design of the architecture for future commercial activity with the listed buildings inflexible to the modern demands of business.