Mosque plans for Wolverhampton Gala Casino granted green light

A mosque will be created to transform a former casino building after the plans were given the go ahead.

Mosque plans for Wolverhampton Gala Casino granted green light

Gala Casino in Whitmore Street, Wolverhampton, closed in 2011.

But it will now become a Islamic place of worship and a community centre after the project was given the go ahead by Wolverhampton City Council.

The property is opposite the Broad Street car park and will be called Wolverhampton City Islamic Centre and Alrahma Mosque.

As part of the transformation of the site prayers will be held five times every day, Arabic and Islamic studies will be taught and food will be provided for fasters during Ramadan.

The venue will also carry out the congregational Friday prayer, which all Muslims attend, and provide an Islamic marriage service if a licence is granted.

Applicant Mekawy Morsy said he is hoping the mosque can work with the University of Wolverhampton. The university has said it would support any partnership which makes their international students feel more comfortable.

Mr Morsy said: "The casino hasn't been used for a number of years. It is in the heart of Wolverhampton and surrounding it are university apartments and the university campus. A lot of the students come from the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and are Muslim.

"We thought having a mosque in the centre of the city would be good for those who wish to attend , who work in central Wolverhampton, who study and those who are out shopping."

He added: "A lot more people live in the city centre now and it would be ideal for them. We want this to be a resource for all people in Wolverhampton. No matter what their religion or background we want all to be welcome.

"We would like a partnership with the university where they can make muslim students aware of our mosque."

University of Wolverhampton spokesman James Allen said: "Anything that engages the university with the community will have our support. We have a lot of international students from the Middle East such as place like Oman and Saudi Arabia. Should it come to fruition the university would support anything that can make their stay in the city more comfortable."

The mosque will be the latest place of worship in that area of the city centre.

Next to the old casino is Ramgarhia Board Sikh temple and there is also Church of Broad Street on St Mary's Street (corr) and Elm Church of Pentecost on Broad Street.

Gala Casino closed its doors in 2011 with the loss of 46 jobs after 17 years in the city.

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