Islam centre planned for former Stourbridge pub site

An Islamic education centre, which would play host to classes teaching the Qur’an and work with nearby schools , will open at the site of an empty pub, under proposals revealed today.

The Old Bell at Lye would be transformed into an Islamic education centre under plans which have been revealed
The Old Bell at Lye would be transformed into an Islamic education centre under plans which have been revealed

The Old Bell at Lye pub, in Lye, Stourbridge, would be transformed in plans unveiled by a charitable trust known as the Islamic Community and Education Centre.

Centre officials have purchased the boarded-up pub, in Chapel Street, to create a community venue to host a range of ‘lifestyle studies and personal development programmes’. Rashid Aziz has submitted the proposals to Dudley Council’s planning development on behalf of the Islamic Community and Education Centre organisation. The application is for a change for use to allow the conversion from a pub to community centre.

The group say no facilities are available to hold their activities and therefore decided to create their own at the pub, off Lye high street. Weekly Arabic and Qur’an classes will be held for adults and children at the centre if planning permission is granted for the scheme.

In plans submitted with the application, Mr Aziz says they want to raise awareness of cultural diversity with schools through assemblies and organising lectures and seminars.

A document Mr Aziz submitted as part of the planning application said: “We recently purchased a building which was a former pub which is on the corner of Chapel Street and High Street, Lye. We believe that this building is at the heart of the community we are serving.

“It is also in our opinion an ideal location from many perspectives, in terms of space, parking, reducing carbon foot print, reducing travelling time for the community to commute between venues and cost saving in the long term and general accessibility.”

A final decision on whether to grant planning approval will be taken in the coming weeks.