Burnley’s skyline has an impressive new landmark after a £100,000 minaret was hoisted on to a Burnley mosque.
The one-tonne white dome was lifted into place by a huge crane at the centre in Burleigh Street – 10 years after work first began.
The imam and community elders came to watch the milestone moment for the Shah Jalal Masjid Mosque and Burnley Islamic Cultural Centre which has cost £2m so far.
But the new minaret, which was paid for by the community, marks the completion of external work on the mosque and hopes are a further £500,000 can see the inside decorated and finished by next summer.
Mozaquir Ali, a former Burnley councillor and project coordinator, said it was a symbolic moment for the project which has been planned as early as 1993.
He said: “It was a brilliant day. People turned up to see how it was going. The community is very pleased about it – it has now completed the four domes and the building is now weather tight from the outside.
“it has been a decade of hard work and financial support from the community in Daneshouse which is stricken with unemployment.
“It is a fantastic project which will be a landmark for Burnley and an iconic building not just for Muslims but the community as a whole can be proud of.”
Mr Mozaquir explained that the project began in 1993 but it was not until 1999 that the council agreed to seel the land and a further three years to get the scheme through the planning stages.
Construction started in 2004 and now 10 years on, the minaret is the final piece of the building which could be finished by summer 2015.
He said: “It is nearly the 10th anniversary since we started construction. We have been using the mosque for Friday prayers since last Ramadan and we get 500 to 700 people every Friday.
“Now we just need to decorate the inside and we should be done by next year.”
Burnley Building Bridges will host its AGM at the centre on June 14th which could be among the final engagements for Burnley Bishop John Goddard who set the organisation up after the disturbances in 2001.