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Muslim groups get biggest share of Tower Hamlets Council’s faith building grants

PUBLISHED: 16:30 24 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:39 24 July 2013

Muslim organisations received more than twice as much public cash as those representing any other religion in the first batch of grants for maintenance of places of worship, it has emerged.

A freedom of information request revealed that 25 Muslims organisations have received a total of £378,000 from the £595,000 dished out.

In comparison, 12 Christian groups were handed £140,000 - with the rest of the grants distributed between a total of six Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist organisations.

Grants were allocated by Tower Hamlets Council after it invited religious groups to apply for funding in November last year in a bid to improve places of worship in the borough.

A council spokesman explained that the funding was available to organisations representing all religions.

“All faiths that applied were supported with funding in round one and the amount awarded to Muslim organisations reflected the higher number of applications and grant requested,” he added.

Census figures from 2011 reveal that Islam is the most widely practiced religion in the borough, with 34 per cent of the population identifying themselves as Muslim.

But Christianity is a close second, accounting for 27 per cent of the population’s religious beliefs.

Funding was awarded to organisations for maintenance works including for new carpets, sinks and window repairs.

Around £100,000 was allocated to organisations to cover professional fees, advice and inspections ahead of further scheduled works.

The council said a further £1.3million is to be allocated “shortly”, before the final round of funding is distributed next year.

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