Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:31 UK

Lease plan agreed for new mosque

A 125-year lease has been agreed for a £4m mosque to be built in Berkshire with fund-raising schemes under way.

Reading council has agreed the lease with the trustees of the Jamme Masjid to build the mosque on the corner of Wokingham Road and Green Road.

Planning permission was given in 2007 and money is being raised by the Muslim community ahead of any building work.

When it is complete, the mosque in Alexandra Road will be shut and the land used for housing.

'Meet religious needs'

The new mosque will include a prayer house, washing facilities, classrooms for male and female students and more than 100 parking spaces.

The building, classical in design with a silver dome in the centre, will provide a social, as well as religious focus, for the Muslim community across Reading, the borough council said.

Council leader Jo Lovelock said: "I am pleased that all the issues regarding this lease have now been agreed and the Muslim community can now begin to raise money for the mosque.

"Reading has a large number of Muslim residents and it is only right that they have the opportunity to provide facilities which meet their religious and community needs."

Mian Saleem, chair of Pakistan Community Centre, said: "Everyone is very pleased on the fulfilment of this long standing promise."

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