A TV appeal to raise money for a new 'landmark' mosque in Worcester received more than £100k in donations in just a few hours.

The charity appeal was part of attempts to raise the £3.5 million needed to build a new mosque on Stanley Road. The fundraising had ground to a halt during the pandemic when places of worship had to shut but has now restarted with urgency.

The Worcester Muslim Welfare Association (WMWA), who are behind the plan, say they are battling to raise the money before the planning permission expires in December.

Mr Harris Saleem, chairman of the WMWA, said: “This is a mega project, we want everything to be perfect.”

The four-phase plan requires the foundations to be laid before the end of the year. Although the association would prefer to have as much of the money in place as possible, Mr Saleem said it would start the project even if the full amount had not been raised.

The mosque raised half a million for the project throughout 2019 and has since been taking donations through their website and a new mobile app, seeking monthly sponsors where possible.

A separate GoFundMe page has also been set up for the development.

Its current total stands at just over £600k.

The Association's latest appeal was broadcast on Sky channel Takbeer TV, raising the £100k within four hours on Sunday evening. Members of the WMWA gave speeches requesting donations from the Tallow Hill mosque between 3pm and 8pm.

Mr Saleem said: “We’re motivated to bring communities together, respectfully and in harmony. There is a peaceful atmosphere in Worcester, we respect one another, and we hope the community will support us with donations.”

The money will be used to start the build of Phase 1 with the mosque expected to be finished in 2025.

When asked whether they would look to extend the planning permission if the £3.5m was not raised, Mr Saleem said: “We don’t wish to go down that route.”

The council’s planning committee approved the plans for the project back in December 2018 with the WMWA wanting to cater for the growing number of worshippers in the local community.

The new mosque will accommodate nearly a thousand worshippers and will also have a separate women’s facility which the Tallow Hill building currently lacks. The development is also being built as an “eco-friendly space” with a library, sports centre and gym.