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Scots who have experienced difficulty paying for a funeral are being sought to take part in an academic study.

Researchers from Heriot-Watt University are looking into the impact of rising funeral costs across Scotland and the long-term effects this can have on finances.

They’re also studying the link between funeral costs and how someone copes with grief.

The average cost of a basic funeral north of the border is more than £3,500 – a 91 per cent increase since 2004 – and more than twice the rate of inflation.

And fees tend to vary massively across Scotland, with more people every year, struggling to scrape money together to pay for a funeral. 

Now, academics see preventive action as a serious priority as the current trend is unsustainable. 

Dr Rebecca Stirzaker from the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, said: “The current situation is damaging communities across Scotland and it’s extremely important that we gather as much data as possible to inform this important research.

“We are especially keen to talk to people who have experienced difficulty with the financial cost of arranging a funeral and learn more about the impact his has had on grief and the experience of bereavement.

“We rely on the generosity of people who are will to invest a little bit of their time and take part in a friendly and confidential interview about their experiences.”

To get involved, the public are being asked to contact Dr Stirzaker: r.stirzaker@hw.ac.uk