Plans for a new Mosque which would provide “excellent facilities” for Aberdeen city centre have been given the green light by council planners.
Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre (AMIC) lodged proposals to turn the Frederick Street Business Centre into a place of worship for the city’s growing Muslim community.
AMIC currently occupies the existing Aberdeen Masjid on the Spital – the city’s first Mosque which opened in 1978.
However, the organisation says it is in need of new premises to cope with demand, as it lacks facilities such as prayer halls, a crèche and disabled access.
Increase in demand for Mosque
By moving to the building on Frederick Street, AMIC says it will be able to rectify those issues as well as provide more space for its youth activities, senior programmes and food bank.
It will also be able to offer improved education programmes and office space.
AMIC chairman Ma’aruf Razzak said the organisation was “delighted” to have been granted planning permission.
“Many of the Muslim community, like myself, were born and raised in Aberdeen and the Spital mosque holds a dear place in our hearts,” Mr Razzak added.
“Whilst this will always remain the case, the new site will provide a modern and spacious masjid and community centre that can cater for the wider needs of the community.
“The Spital site has not been fit for purpose for a long time with many limitations in terms of the services and facilities we could offer from there.
“We believe that with this new property we will be able to deliver essential services for children, youth and families, all within the fabric of one building.”
Fundraiser set up for move
The organisation wants the new Mosque to be a community hub for Muslims and non-Muslims alike and plans to increase its offerings once the facilities are up and running.
It expects around 50 people to attend daily prayers, with greater numbers attending in the evenings and at weddings and funerals “a few times a month”.
AMIC’s bid to convert the former school into a Mosque came as planning firm Aurora admitted there was “no realistic prospect” of the business centre building returning to its previous use as an office.
It added the new Mosque would be a “significant footfall-generating development” which would bring wider benefits to the city centre.