Piccadilly Prayer Space / Community Centre Fact Sheet

Existing entrance to the proposed prayer space

Prayer space in basement of Trocadero

The Aziz Foundation is excited to have submitted a planning application for a prayer space/community centre in London’s iconic Trocadero building.

The space will use a small part of the basement of the Trocadero and be open between 11am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

Located at the centre of one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the UK, which attracts tourists from across the globe, the Piccadilly prayer space will cater to the needs of those Muslims in the area, in a similar way to prayer spaces at Selfridges, Westfields and Heathrow Airport.

The prayer space will take up less than 1.5% of the total space of the Trocadero, a unique building that comprises shops, restaurants, nightclubs and the recently opened 740 bed Zedwell Hotel, and soon to open London’s largest rooftop bar with the capacity for 1,200 people.

The centre’s interior design will take its inspiration from the rich heritage of the Muslim world.  It will offer a tranquil environment; a space for contemplation, reflection and prayer for all those who want to participate. In addition to the main prayer space, which will offer equal space to both male and female Muslims, there will be a contemplation room open to all, providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Additionally, a seminar room will be available for use by the local community. There will also be a small café on the premises. The estimated usage of the building is typically expected to be less than 100, except for the Friday afternoon prayer, which will attract near capacity attendance, of around 950-1000 people in total.

 

The Piccadilly prayer centre will be a great addition to the area, adding diversity as well as boosting it economically. It will provide an indispensable service for the thousands of Muslim workers, visitors and residents who need to pray and cannot find facilities in the area. Regular prayer is very much part and parcel of a Muslim’s life.

The opportunity to stop, pause, reflect and pray helps to keep life’s balance.

By turning an unused space in the basement of the Trocadero into a prayer facility, we very much hope that the Piccadilly prayer centre becomes a symbol of London’s diversity and inclusion, and demonstrate that different communities can live, work and contemplate together in harmony.

How You Can Support this Application

To leave support, (the process should take less than five minutes):

  1. Go to Westminster City Council’s website
  2. Login, Register, Sign up now (inc. registration code). Once created login (or click on above link again)
  3. Complete form to make a comment (select ‘support’ on the stance section) and leave a comment – then submit

FAQ

What is being proposed?

The Aziz Foundation is excited to have submitted a planning application for a much-needed prayer-space and community centre in the basement of London’s iconic Trocadero building. The proposed space occupies less than 1.5% of the building and provides capacity for up to 950 people, which will be on Friday afternoons only. At other times it is anticipated that less than 100 worshipers will be present at any given time.

Who is this space for?

The prayer space is intended serve Muslim men and women who live and work in the area as a space where they can worship. The centre will also champion and represent community cohesion and interfaith solidarity through a dedicated community space and café. Many thanks to all the residents who support this initiative. 

Why do we need this space?

Existing mosques in the West End just do not have the capacity to serve all Muslims who live and work here. There are also no mosques in the area that can adequately provide prayer spaces for women. This centre will satisfy a pressing need. Worshippers will no longer have to pray on the streets; they will have the dignity of offering prayers in a quiet, tranquil setting.

Won’t this add to the congestion and traffic in the area?

In a word, no. We have looked deeply into this and conducted three separate travel surveys of existing mosques within the West End. Based on our findings, we anticipate that most patrons of our facility will arrive on foot or by public transport, as most work in the local area. 

Patrons arriving or departing via the tube would have direct access to the Piccadilly Circus Underground Station concourse via the existing subway passage. So, we will not see additional pedestrian traffic in Piccadilly, certainly no more than any other alternative use.

The West End is the hub of London nightlife, would not having additional worshippers put an unsustainable stress on pedestrian traffic and cause more noise and disturbance for residents?

The prayer space will be open weekdays 11am-7pm. The number of patrons attending prayer sessions outside of core working hours (i.e. 9am to 5pm) will be negligible. Existing prayer spaces in the area have a typical head count of less than 30 patrons after core hours. 

Noise impact will be minimal as the prayer facilities are located in the basement. The ground floor will only be used as an entrance.

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