A new Hindu centre has opened in Swindon following the closure of the town's temple.
The former temple at Cheney Manor Industrial Estate was closed by Swindon Borough Council in October 2021, after six targeted break-ins in less than a year.
A seven-year lease agreement for a new building was agreed upon in August for Wyvern House, a former Swindon Borough Council site opposite Swindon's Central Library.
Volunteers have since worked hard to get the centre ready for its opening, which happened on Sunday 11 September.
Councillor Ravi Venkatesh said the venture was a joing project between Hindu Samaj Swindon - the town’s oldest Hindu organisation set up 50 years ago - and the Swindon Temple Co-ordination Group, which was set up soon after the closure of the temple in Cheney Manor.
Mr Venkatesh said: “It took some three weeks for some dedicated volunteers to get the Wyvern House in a reasonable state for the Grand Opening which took place last weekend. The Swindon Hindu Centre is for all communities of Swindon to utilise and the prayer room can be used by devotees to come and pray.”
Hundreds visited the centre on its first weekend, supported by a number of councillors including the Mayor of Swindon and Councillor Abdul Amin.
“We were extremely honoured to have the Mayor of Swindon take some time off his busy diary to visit us and partake in the Aarti (religious ritual of worship) and engage with the devotees during his visit. The Mayor has shown his full support for this venture,” Mr Venkatesh said.
The centre will open every Sunday between 12pm and 2pm during initial refurbishment, but it is hoped that it will eventually open more regularly.