A new teaching facility at a city mosque has been given the go ahead after a four year struggle, with the next task to raise more than £1 million to get it built.
The Faizan‐e‐Madina Mosque in Gladstone Street, Millfield, received planning consent for its new two-storey madrassa and community building earlier this month, which will serve children aged four to 16 years old.
And mosque chairman Abdul Choudhuri has welcomed the big breakthrough which will see an existing 100-year-old building next to the mosque demolished to make way for the new facility.
He said: “We’ve been struggling for nearly four years so we are pleased at long last we’ve got permission.
“There have been numerous obstacles but we have addressed all the concerns, and the result is we have satisfied all the requirements.
“We’ve already got one of the most beautiful mosques in the whole region for worshippers. After school we have children come to the mosque - about 400 boys and girls who learn religious education, how to be a good citizen and British values. But we’ve not got proper facilities.
“We have a beautiful building then have an old building which is over 100 years old.”
The madrassa - an Islamic teaching facility - will see new classrooms fit for the 21st century for the pupils who attend after school, as well as two new halls and a pre-school.
This will deliver educational facilities for children aged four and above.
A day nursery at the site closed more than two years ago.
Addressing parking concerns in its planning statement to the council, the mosque said community events in the new building would not take place when the mosque is in use, meaning the car park can be shared.
The next challenge for Mr Choudhuri and his fellow committee members at the mosque is to raise the money to get the new facility built, with planning permission lasting for three years.
More than £1 million will need to be raised, although the final figure has not been settled.
Mr Choudhuri added: “The children will have better facilities. Our old building has all sorts of problems and we’ve kept spending money on repairs to the ceiling and heating.
“We wanted a 21st century building where the children can do sports - there will be two halls. Everyone will be happy.
“The next stage is to raise funds. The committee will decide how to raise the funds. We don’t get any grants as we are self-funding. Our community is very, very generous and we hope they will continue to be.”