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Former city hair salon could become Norfolk's first Islamic cultural centre

PUBLISHED: 10:08 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 12 April 2019

Al Madinah Ltd is seeking permission to turn the Sandy Lane salon into a community facility to serve people living nearby in Old Lakenham. Photo: Google

Al Madinah Ltd is seeking permission to turn the Sandy Lane salon into a community facility to serve people living nearby in Old Lakenham. Photo: Google

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A former Norwich hair salon could be converted into Norfolk's "first" Islamic cultural centre.

Al Madinah Ltd is seeking permission to turn the Sandy Lane salon into a community facility to serve people living nearby in Old Lakenham. Photo: GoogleAl Madinah Ltd is seeking permission to turn the Sandy Lane salon into a community facility to serve people living nearby in Old Lakenham. Photo: Google

Al Madinah Ltd is seeking permission to turn the Sandy Lane salon into a community facility to serve people living nearby in Old Lakenham.

However, according to the company’s online crowdfunding campaign, it needs to raise £130,000 for the project to go ahead.

Plans submitted to Norwich City Council state the centre will provide homework clubs for primary and secondary school students to take place in the evenings.

The clubs would be for about 30 students per session.

Space will also be made available for prayer, craft activities and a resource library.

In a planning application, Andrew Clarke, on behalf of Al Madinah, said there were no community facilities for the Asian community in the area around Old Lakenham in south Norwich.

“It is hoped that the facility will encourage social cohesion and offer a place to understand various cultures settled within the community,” Mr Clarke said.

“The facility will encourage others for outside of the Asian community to understand about the

Muslim and Islamic cultures and traditions.”

The application said while the centre will not be a formal place of worship, it is part of Muslim culture for regular prayers to take place.

It said worship is a “peaceful and quiet” process.

Al Madinah has sought permission for the facility to open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm.

But the centre is expected to be open later during Ramadan, which typically lasts one month each year.

“Prayers would be conducted at the community centre. It is common for around 40 people to pray together throughout this holy month,” Mr Clarke said.

“This is a quiet peaceful process with little impact on the surrounding areas.”

Existing access to the site will remain unchanged and there is parking in place for six vehicles.

Mr Clarke said the project aims to attract local residents who will be encouraged to walk to the centre.

Al Madinah’s crowdfunding page claims the facility would become Norfolk’s first Islamic cultural centre.

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