GBP10m Sikh temple to be built in city centre

Edingburgh Evening Times (Scotland), Aug. 14, 2003

The stunning domed building planned for Berkeley Street, which will be one of Glasgow’s biggest public buildings, will be the first purpose-built Sikh temple in Glasgow and will accommodate 1500 worshippers.

The site of the temple, which is near the Henry Wood Hall, was previously part of the city’s eye infirmary which was destroyed by fire in 1971. The site is currently used as a car park.

A total of 257 car parking spaces will also be provided over three floors in the temple.

They will be made available to the general public when they are not needed to accommodate worshippers.

The building will be clad in polished limestone with the main dome made of glass-reinforced plastic.

Mr Parminder Singh Purba is secretary of the Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha, or Sikh Temple, which already exists in Berkeley Street and is a leader of the Sikh community in the city.

He said: “There are about 10,000 Sikhs in Scotland, most of them in Glasgow, and the new Gurdwara will be a community centre, an educational resource centre and of course a place of worship.

“We hope work will start next April and take about 18 months to complete.”

The existing temple in Berkeley Street will remain open until the new building is ready. It is one of four small temples in the city.

The decision by a city council planning committee to give the building the go-ahead was today welcomed by development and regeneration convener Hanzala Malik.

He said: “This is a unique building which will enrich the city with not only religion but

also outstanding architecture.”

Mr Malik, who is also chairman of the West of Scotland Racial Equality Council, said funds for the building would be raised by the Sikh community.

He added: “This will be a religious building so it will be down to the people who believe in the faith to put the money together.

“I have every confidence they will bring this together very quickly.

“Glasgow is famed for its outstanding religious buildings, such as its ancient Cathedral, the Central Mosque and its ‘Greek’ Thomson churches.

“The Sikh temple will be a fitting and flamboyant addition to these buildings, and a major addition to the city.

“Letters of support have been sent in from a whole host of communities, not just the Sikh community, who are keen to see this go forward.”

As well as the temple, the building will also accommodate classrooms, a library, offices and a ceremonial pool.

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