Al-Noor Foundation eyes Eastern Avenue site for expansion

Newton Industrial Estate, where the Al-Noor Foundation hopes to build a secondary school

Newton Industrial Estate, where the Al-Noor Foundation hopes to build a secondary school - Credit: Archant

An Islamic foundation is seeking £4.4million to buy an industrial site which would allow it expand and build a secondary school.

The Al-Noor Foundation runs a faith-based primary school in Green Lane, Goodmayes, but is now looking to purchase Newton Industrial Estate in Eastern Avenue, Romford, before July 20 – the deadline set by the current site owners.

The school, should the foundation raise the money required, will be the first Muslim secondary school in Redbridge.

Donors have helped raise more £2million so far and Al-Noor trustee, Sadiq Kothia, is “quietly confident” the target will be reached before the deadline passes.

He said: “This is part of our aspiration of the foundation. We are quietly confident that we will do it. We have a lot of support and there is a demand for it.

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“We have to raise the money by July 20 because that is when we have agreed with current owners of the site.”

Mr Kothia added the site’s size makes it an obvious choice to build a secondary school.

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“It is early days in terms of this site,” he added. “But we envisage having a school where the pupils will have all the facilities they need to become well-rounded individuals and they will be a use for the community as well.”

The website, set up to raise awareness about the project and collect donations, tells how the foundation hopes to cater for more than 1,000 pupils on the site.

Mr Kothia hopes the independent school will one day come under the jurisdiction of the local authority.

“We have always aspired to be part of the schools of Redbridge,” he said. “I hope this helps Redbridge with its difficulties in creating more school places.”

Parent Babar Mirza, 36, who has one child at the primary school in Goodmayes, believes Al-Noor’s expansion has been “a long time coming”.

He said: “It is the natural progression for the school.

“A lot of people were probably expecting this to come along sooner.

“The concept of all through schools is now quite common.

“Al-Noor is a refreshing model not only for the local area but the faith sector as a whole.

“They provide a model which is inclusive and forward-thinking.”

– Are you an Al-Noor parent? We would like to hear from you. Please email or call 0208 477 3825

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