News 18 July 2023

Billionaire building central London mosque at iconic location

18 July 2023

Central London is set to welcome a new addition, as a three-storey mosque being built by Muslim billionaire Asif Aziz has been announced.

He plans to establish the house of prayer and Islamic centre within the site of the iconic Trocadero, located between Piccadilly Circus and Soho.

With a capacity of 390 worshippers, the mosque will fill the space left vacant since the closure of the Metro cinema in 2006.

Earlier proposals for a larger mosque were withdrawn in 2020 due to opposition from residents and far-right groups.

However, a recent planning application for the smaller development gained approval from Westminster Council in May 2023.

The mosque, potentially named “Piccadilly Prayer Space”, could open its doors within a few months. Critics, however, have raised concerns about its proximity to alcohol-serving bars, nightclubs and Soho’s LGBTQ+ venues, questioning the compatibility with Islamic teachings.

Asif Aziz, through the Aziz Foundation, is leading the charitable initiative, utilising his vast property portfolio valued at over £2 billion.

The Trocadero, an iconic entertainment complex dating back to 1896, was acquired by Aziz – nicknamed Mr West End – in 2005. Its transformation into a mosque signifies a significant shift in its historical purpose.

[Image via Shutterstock]