A mosque in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, which offers essential support services to vulnerable and homeless people, faces possible closure to departments as energy bills soar from £60,000 to a shocking figure of £250,000.

Green Lane Masjid, which also operates as a community centre, food bank and a Covid-19 vaccination centre, is looking to make drastic cuts to welfare services and also close down sections of the building as the fuel crisis bites into finances. 

A distinctive looking mosque in Small Heath, which won a prestigious award from the Victorian Society for conserving local history, now faces partial closure and the loss of much needed community services as energy costs quadruple.

Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham has opened its doors to the homeless as temperatures dropGLM / IAB
Volunteers from Green Lane Mosque carrying out outreach work on the streets of Birmingham

Green Lane Masjid is open daily from 5am-10pm and welcomes everyone from worshippers to those seeking food or help and support with issues such as domestic violence, including youth and knife crime violence, and mosque volunteers also carry out outreach work in the city to help the homeless and vulnerable.

The centre also runs coffee mornings for the elderly and for women’s groups, and had previously opened its door to offer warmth to the homeless during the winter months. Many of these services could be lost as the cost of living crisis begins to hit homes and community services across the city.

Managers of the mosque and community centre said the site faces a very uncertain future and could be partially closed in a bid to cut costs.

The mosque received an astronomical quote for electricity, water and gas. From a current bill of around £60,000 the energy broker issued an estimated quote of £250,000.

The Green Lane Masjid has opened its doors to the homeless to keep them out of the freezing coldGLM
Green Lane Masjid opened its doors to the homeless to keep them out of the cold

Saleem Ahmed, who is the centre manager at Green Lane Masjid, said the management is “devastated’ and revealed that according to the energy supply broker the shocking figure of £250,000 was the “cheapest deal” on offer.

Mr Ahmed stated that the centre normally gets funding through donations from the congregation and via grants from welfare projects.

However, the rise in the cost of running the centre and services means that other areas of the building will be affected. Urgent meetings will be held to conserve energy by shutting down the air conditioning, turning off lights and non-essential units, and closing down the mosque for some hours during the day.

The building was originally opened as a library in 1894 and then with adjacent swimming pools in 1902. Designed by local architects Martin & Chamberlain and built in the redbrick and terracotta Gothic-Jacobean style between 1893 and 1902, it is a Grade II listed building.

The Green Lane Masjid and Victorian Society teams with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Yvonne Mosquito and the awarded plaqueGLM
Green Lane Masjid received an award from the Victorian Society for restoration work on the vintage building

With its large clock tower and distinct Victorian style, the iconic building occupies a prominent corner position on Green Lane off the main Coventry Road. In 1979, the deteriorating and heavily vandalised building was saved from destruction when it was purchased and transformed into a mosque and a community centre offering much needed services.

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