A new mosque and Islamic community centre has been set up in a Norfolk village with the organisers vowing to become an integral part of the local community.

The centre in Henstead Road, Hethersett, was bought at auction for £263,000 with planning permission to turn it into a four-bedroom home.

The purchasers will not be taking up this option, however, choosing to set-it up as a place for Islamic prayer and a community centre.

Planning permission is not required for this as the building was previously owned by the parish church and used as a place of worship as well as a community hall.

“Many professionals living in the area don’t have a place of worship and this centre will fill the void needed to establish daily prayers and provide a peaceful and learning environment for generations to come,” the organisers said.

Most of those involved in the centre are doctors living locally.

“We are an inclusive and diverse group," they added. "We acknowledge differences, value diversity and celebrate cultural differences.

“There are a considerable number of Muslim families living in and around Hethersett, including Wymondham, Cringleford and Eaton. Hethersett will provide a very convenient place away from the busy traffic of Norwich,” they added.

The organisers are planning to renovate the crumbling building, which began its life as one of two village schools, and return it to its former glory.

They stress they want to be an integral part of the local community:

“We will constantly keep in touch with the community leaders and religious principals in the area and will be conducting many social welfare activities like open days for the neighbours, food and clothing banks.”

“The mosque will be a place where different communities and minorities can come together to share ideas and thoughts, ask questions, make recommendations and unite society towards issues of mutual benefit. This will attract more professionals to move to this area as most facilities will be within the village.”

The organisers will also be holding an open day for local residents.