Muslims in Corby have their own centre for worship and community activities after 35 years and will be welcoming visitors to their new base.
Members of Corby Muslim Association have bought the former Lutheran Church in Stuart Road and are in the process of renovating the building which has been standing empty for years.
Residents in the area voiced concerns over noise and feared that the new centre would add to traffic congestion in Stuart Road. At a meeting with association members at the centre, they were given assurances people who use the building will abide by parking restrictions in Stuart Road and that there will be no noise nuisance as a result of worship or other activities at the building.
Margaret Wilson, who lives in Stuart Road, said: “I feel much happier now that we have had a meeting with the association and we know what is being planned.
“We felt in the dark but now we can work together.”
Another Stuart Road resident Helen Edwards said: “People in the area have genuine concerns about traffic and noise but the association has listened to what we have to say and I think people feel much better.”
Building work is being carried out at the centre, which will also be a base for Islamic cultural activities and education, and it will be at least six months before it is in full use.
A leaflet is to be distributed to residents outlining how the building will be used and the services which will be provided there.
Dr Salahuddin Khan, of Corby Muslim Association, said: “We have listened to what people said and given assurances over noise and traffic.
“Once the centre is up and running we will be welcoming visitors.
“There has been a Muslim community in Corby for 35 years and this is the first time we have had a place of our own to welcome people to.”
Dr Khan said Fridays would be the busiest day at the centre and stressed that there will be no call to prayer or loudspeakers used. He added: “The meeting with residents has been useful to everyone.”
Corby councillors Mark Pengelly and Sean Kettle attended the meeting on Friday, along with PCSOs.