Plans for new mosque in Middlesbrough as worshippers 'overflowing' into car park at current venue
A new mosque may be built in Middlesbrough after worshippers say they have had to pray in the car park of their current premises due to a lack of space.
Central Masjid wants to build a place of worship and community centre next to its current venue.
The proposals would also include community facilities, including a 24-hour gym, a lecture theatre, classroom and workshop areas and a cafe.
Central Masjid chairman Gohar Ihsan said: "The mosque that we are building is not just a mosque, the whole point of the development is there is a broader vision for a community hub. There is nothing like this in the whole area and the North East.
"It will be the most productive mosque in terms of delivery and interaction in the whole of the country. It’s a big claim to make, and it’s bold, but we are confident we will be able to deliver on that. We’ve got a great team and a great vision."
The mosque in Southfield Road has plans to teach maths, English and science to children, as well as deliver community programmes, including visits to care homes, litter picks and tree planting.
Mr Ihsan added: "There are a lot of programmes we will be delivering in there and it’s a fabulous project.
There are no firm plans to demolish the mosque that is currently standing but it has not been ruled out, Mr Ihsan said.
He added: "It’s been there for over 20 years and it’s been a rock for us. It’s an old building and we like it, it’s got a lot of character and memories, there’s a lot of history there for us.
“You outgrow spaces sometimes. Currently, we have people praying outside in the rain sometimes on Fridays and it’s freezing cold, especially in the winter. In the summer there are more people, and the car park is absolutely ram packed.”
The mosque still needs to receive planning permission from the council but those behind the scheme will be submitting the proposals in due course.
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