A MUSLIM group has spoken of its plans to build a cultural centre in the heart of Deeside.
Members of the Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society say they want to work with the wider community to build the centre, which would house a mosque, at the former Shotton Social Club.
On Wednesday members made a TV appeal on Sky Channel S for help in raising funds for the project.
Group leaders are asking for £150,000, but say they are already halfway towards their target following their appeal to the wider Muslim community.
Mohammad Monchab Ali, chairman of the Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society and owner of the Bengal Dynasty, Shotton, says the use of the centre will not be restricted to the Islamic community.
He said: “This is being created for Muslim people, but we will always include others. Everybody will be welcome to come along and we will hold events including the local community.
“We believe this will help bring the community closer together.”
Mr Ali insisted non-Muslim members of the Shotton community would have nothing to fear from the presence of a centre, believing it would improve cultural links.
He added: “We are keen to interact with others and can bring an enriched cultural experience.”
The region’s Muslim community currently hire the War Memorial Hall in Queensferry twice a week, but they need a larger and permanent facility to worship,
provide regular Islamic learning for children and facilities for female members.
Mr Ali told the Leader that the facility is intended to be in use for seven days a week, for both worship and teaching.
The potential creation of the centre has not been warmly received by all residents of the Deeside area.
Cllr Doreen Mackie, Shotton East member on Flintshire Council, said several people had contacted her with concerns.
She said: “The reasons for objections have not been on religious grounds, it has mainly been because of concerns over traffic and parking issues which are already bad and will only get worse if we have people coming from all over Flintshire.
“There has also been a feeling that this site could have been used for the creation of affordable housing, which is something that is urgently needed.”
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