London is getting a new mosque in a very famous building

Do you remember the Trocadero? Back in the day it was a palace of arcade games, cinemas and fast food: a teenager’s heaven. The entertainment centre closed down in 2014 and London was worse for it, but the building will live to see another day. The former site of the Troc has been bought by a property developer and is being turned into a three-storey house of prayer and Islamic centre.

The central London mosque will have space for 390 worshippers. It’s being opened by Asif Aziz, a developer known as ‘Mr West End’ who owns almost 40 London properties. The tycoon copped the building all the way back in 2005 for £220 milllion and is funding the place of worship with the charity arm of his business, the Aziz Foundation. It’s thought the Islamic centre could be ready for use within the next few months, opening as the ‘Piccadilly Prayer Space’. 

Part of the nineteenth-century building is home to the 490-room Zedwell hotel, which will remain as it is. The mosque will take over a space that once housed a Metro cinema but has been vacant since 2006. 

London’s muslim community has been waiting for a large central London mosque for quite a few years. Proposals for a 1,000-capacity mosque on the site were withdrawn in 2020 following backlash from far-right groups and some residents. But Westminster Council has now approved a planning application for the smaller centre for worship. 

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