Plans to convert a former Preston pub into an Islamic education centre have been approved by councillors.
Members of the city’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the now defunct New Deepdale Hotel, a favourite haunt with football fans for decades, to open as a madressa providing cultural learning for a total of 60 to 70 boys aged 14 to 20.
The Deepdale, wrongly believed to be the birthplace of Preston North End FC, closed its doors last summer after dwindling trade on non-matchdays left it struggling to make ends meet.
An application to convert it into an education centre was opposed by some residents in the area, largely over traffic and noise issues. But staff from the Al-Ansaar Welfare and Education Group met locals to address their concerns.
The school, which will run classes from 4.30pm to 9.30pm, will have a library, quiet room, IT area and multi-use area on the ground floor, with three classrooms and another multi-use area on the first floor.
Council officers recommended the plan be approved, arguing the centre would make use of a vacant building to provide a community facility for local children. They added the development was “unlikely to significantly affect the availability of on-street parking or highway safety.”