A run-down spiritual centre has been renovated and expanded thanks to a £120,000 cash boost.
The Falkirk Muslim Educational and Cultural Centre in Burnhead Lane now includes a bigger hall, kitchen facilities, new toilets, and will soon be able to cater for funerals.
The expansion, made possible by an RBS loan through the Government’s Funding for Learning Scheme and £70,000 of community donations, means the centre has doubled in size and can now hold 200 people.
Now, the centre’s committee hope the improved facilities will attract more members, especially younger Muslims.
Khalid Saeed, chairman of the centre’s management committee said: “We now have a much nicer environment which is conducive to prayer and the study of Arabic and the Koran.
“It comes at a key moment for us and we have a lot of people to thank for their hard work.”
Opened in 2000, the centre, which includes a Mosque and educational area, caters for Falkirk’s Sunni Muslims.
However, the building was becoming too small and the women’s hall was a temporary outbuilding.
But, over the past six months, construcion work, led by local architect Les Johnson, has been going on to rejuvenate the premises, and was finished in time for Ramadan.
Khalid added: “We want young people to share our way of thinking which is to combine our religion with a modern view of the western world and the community that we live in. We hope the improved facilities will have a positive impact on the local economy.”
Stuart Bell from RBS said: “We were impressed by the vision that Khalid and the committee at the Falkirk Muslim Educational and Cultural Community Centre had for learning and social interaction and were delighted to be able to support it.”