A NEW multi-million pound mosque is starting to take shape as the community launches its second phase of fundraising.

The new Taiyabah Islamic Centre in Blackburn Road, approved in 2014, now requires £2.5m, to be raised by the community, for work to progress.

The first phase of construction, which was finished late last year, cost just under £1m.

Concrete slabs and a steel frame have been constructed ahead of the second phase when the roof and cladding will be installed.

Jamil Ahmed from David Cox Architects told The Bolton News that the project has been phased so that the community is able to fundraise.

He said: “Now the community is fundraising for phase two which is cladding and the roof. Phase three is the [internal] fit out and phase four is external [landscaping].”

The first phase, which was initially expected to take one year, was delayed because of unexpected excavation underneath the structure.

Inayat Omarji, who is leading the mosque project, wanted to dispel "myths" around funding for mosques.

He said: “Mosques up and down the country are funded by the community. This mosque is Blackburn Road is no different. We fund it ourselves, we purchased it ourselves in the community."

The mosque is funded by the generous donations from the community and basically it’s to replace the current building which is outdated."

The Taiyabah community moved to its current building in Astley Bridge more than 30 years ago.

It was first created in 1967 and moved to its current site after the community grew.

Now, the building which is around a century old is becoming costly to maintain and the decision was made to create a more modern facility more than a decade ago.

In 2009, the mosque bought the neighbouring site with a view to future development.

Mr Omarji said: "The mosque we are building is to replace the current building which is outdated. We are constantly spending money on it. We need a building that’s fit for the future and the next generation."

The new facility will be complete with a dome, minaret tower and 19 classrooms.

The congregation now has between 800 and 1,000 members. But the new mosque will be open to all.

Mr Omarji said: “It’s open to everybody. If somebody is passing and prayer time comes they can pop in for their prayer.”

Those wishing to donate to the second phase of construction can do so by visiting the Taiyabah Islamic Centre website or the mosque itself.