Categories: News

The South side will soon play host to the biggest Sikh temple in Scotland, after construction work began on a derelict site in Pollokshields.

Work started this week (Monday) on the area’s first purpose-built temple, or Gurdwara, next to the Tramway building in Albert Drive.

A special prayer ceremony took place on Sunday, attended by several hundred people and leading politicians from a variety of parties.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed the creation of the new temple as “momentous and historic”.

The SNP MSP for South Glasgow said:”It is wonderful for the Sikh community, not just here in Glasgow but right across Scotland”.

The £3.75 million contract has been awarded to local firm, CBC.

Former Labour MP Mohammad Sarwar provoked laughs when he revealed he originally wanted the site for his new cash and carry.

But he said the religious building was a “far better” use of the land.

Access to the new temple will be through an impressive gateway and the building itself will be able to accommodate up to 800 worshippers.

Surinder Singh, the president of the Gurdwara, said of the new temple:“It will serve us, our children and our community for generations to come.

“It will give us more space for prayer, for classes, for weddings, for festivals and provide the ability for us to share our faith with the wider community.

“This scale of progress does not happen overnight and it is only through hard work that we can arrive here today. But there is still a long way to go”.