Tower Hamlets mayor dishing out �2m to revamp houses of worship

Religious congregations are now being urged to apply for Town Hall cash to improve some of the 90 houses of worship in London’s East End.

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman is putting aside nearly �2 million to repair, adapt or make buildings such as mosques, churches or synagogues more eco-friendly or accessible.

Grants up to �300,000 can now be applied for under the council’s ‘One Tower Hamlets’ agenda aimed at “celebrating diversity and promoting equal opportunities.”

Mayor Rahman said: “This will support social cohesion by improving the fabric of faith buildings in these difficult times. Faith plays a prominent role in the lives of most residents, with the last population census showing 80 per cent have a religious belief.”

The cash is being made available with the launch of his ‘Faith Buildings’ support scheme over the next two years up to April, 2014—just before the next elections for mayor—when groups including voluntary or community organisations can apply for grants towards repairing, adapting or improving their buildings.

Organisations that need help with applications can also ask for up to �10,000 for professional support. They have until 5pm next Tuesday (Nov 20), to submit applications, with most decisions likely by the end of the year.