BURNLEY’s first Buddhist temple could open in a vacant town centre mill.
The Yorkshire-based Kadampa Buddhist Centre has lodged plans with Burnley Council to convert Brunside Mill, in Parker Street, into a place of worship.
The proposal also includes a cafe and shop on the site, last used as a carpet and furniture showroom by UK Carpets & Interiors.
The application, made in the name of Buddha Land’s resident teacher, Gen Kelsang Paljin, said the temple would be used for prayers, meditation and workshops.
He said: “The overall aim is to provide a spiritual refuge where everyone, Buddhists and non-Buddhist, can feel part of a supportive comunity, find inspiration and encouragement to develop harmony and peace within their lives.
“The shop would sell small artefacts and books compatible with Kadampa Buddhist philosophy. It would provide general information on Buddhist philosophy and meditation to people of the area.”
Neil Grahame, who helps run the Burnley Kadampa Buddhist Centre, in Curzon Street, said the temple would be used mainly as a meditation centre.
He said: “The building offers more space. There is a demand, mainly for our meditation classes, which is our strongest attraction.
“The cafe gets used quite a lot as well. The prayers are in the form of chanting but they are a fairly minor part of what we offer.
“At present it’s really informal but we get up to 25 people at our Wednesday meditation classes and around 10 at our Monday teachings.
“As far as I’m aware we’re the most active in East Lancashire. Buddhists don’t evangelise or try to convert people in the street. The idea is that people come to Buddhism.”
Mr Grahame, from Roughlee, said he believed Brunside Mill had been purchased outright. It was on the market last month with auctioneers Pugh and Company, with a guide price of £100,000.