West Norfolk Islamic Centre in Lynn’s London Road has beaten off competition from multi-million pound projects to be chosen as the best public service building in England and Wales .
Mr A Gabbair, president of the West Norfolk Islamic Association and his brother and director of the centre, Mr Jawed Azam, attended a grand awards ceremony on Tuesday at London’s Lancaster Hotel hosted by the Local Authority Building Control. The awards recognise the best innovative and creative designs and are one of the most recognised events in the building industry’s calendar.
The centre, which was formerly the Queen’s Arms pub, had already been selected as regional winner in the East Anglian Building Excellence awards to win a place in the final.
As a finalist, it was up against 11 other projects, some of which cost millions to develop, while the WNIC was a public and charity-led development with limited funds, all raised by the local community.
Jawed said: “When it was announced that we had won, it was unbelievable. We were delighted to share the news with our family, friends and community – those for whom this project is for and those that made this project possible.
“As an ambition for the community which has a very personal connection to us and something which means a great deal to so many, it is ever more meaningful that the efforts of all have been recognised in such a way. To have achieved national significance is truly remarkable.
“We are all humbled by the opportunity to show and share with the rest of the county what we have done together here.
“It is a win for our community, and a win for our fabulous town of King’s Lynn.”
The LABC said that swift decision making had been necessary to ensure the project ran on time and that project manager Jawed consulted regularly with the building control surveyor to ensure the centre complied with building regulations.
Lynn’s Russen and Turner acted as architects for the project and David Saunders was the building control surveyor.