Plans submitted for new Preston academy and community centre

SUBMITTED: The plans for the educational and community centre

SUBMITTED: The plans for the educational and community centre

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Plans have been submitted to replace a row of terraced houses with a state-of-the art educational facility and community centre.

Preston Muslim Society already owns the properties in Clarendon Street, which are currently being used as a Madrassa, providing after school classes for local youngsters.

We are looking for a more modern facility with a better working environment for the young people to study and learn in, with up-to-date equipment and facilities.

Munaf Dalal

The proposal, which was the subject of a public consultation in 2013, will completely transform the area, in Avenham.

Outline plans submitted to Preston Council show the site flattened and replaced with a new building three times the size, incorporating an underground car park.

Four stories above ground are scheduled to include a community centre with an assembly room , kitchen and offices and three floors of classrooms.

The site, next to Jamea Mosque, is close to St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School and church and Cardinal Newman College and people in and around the area were surveyed by the Muslim Society before the outline plans were submitted to Preston Council.

Munaf Dalal, a member of the building committee, said the plan had been in the pipeline for several years and fund raising among the community had already started to pay for the development.

He said: “ The problem with the existing building is the size and poor state of repair.

“It is quite an old building which has been adapted over the years.

“We are looking for a more modern facility with a better working environment for the young people to study and learn in, with up-to-date equipment and facilities.”

He added that one of the key factors of the development would be the community facility, which would be open to people both within and outside of the immediate community.

Mr Dalal said: “Hopefully there will be community usage, for things like meetings, conferences etc, maybe a women’s group and we are also looking at running a nursery.”

He added: “The community has been raising funds.

“There have been various fund raisers in the area such as summer fairs and we will continue.

“If all goes well with planning, we would be looking to start in the spring of 2016.”