An emergency appeal has been launched after the roof of Leeds’s biggest mosque was ripped off in extreme winds.
Leeds Grand Mosque suffered at least £60,000 of damage as the city was battered by gusts of up to 80mph on Thursday.
Leaders have been forced to close the main prayer hall at the premises, on Woodsley Road in Hyde Park, until repairs are carried out.
They are now appealing for public support to pay for restoration work.
Bilal Salameh, office manager at the mosque, which can accommodate 2,500 people, said they had already been inundated with offers of help.
“People really love this mosque,” he said. “We are very much part of the community here. It’s very nice to know that people are supporting us.”
Parts of the roof were damaged early on Thursday before the entire structure became detached around lunchtime.
Glass panels in the ceiling came crashing down and there was major water damage – just days after the interior was painted.
The emergency services were called and the road outside was temporarily blocked as debris was cleared.
Mr Salameh said certain services offered by the mosque are facing disruption, but it would remain open for prayers.
He added: “Our religion teaches us that if any affliction occurs then we see the positive side. When you fall, you get back up again – that’s how it has to be. If you wallow in your own misery you will not get anywhere.”
A clean-up was also under way at Tesco in Bramley, where the roof was damaged.
See www.leedsgrandmosque.com for more details on the emergency appeal.