Leicester, UK

March 2011

Leicester is a very diverse, multi faith, multi ethnic city and is amongst the most diverse ethnic minority communities outside of London. The city prides itself on this and the high levels of community cohesion that exists within and amongst its communities.

In terms of faith, Leicester has a unique mix of Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The majority of the ethnic minority community are Hindu (approximately 61%), a quarter are Muslim (approximately 25%) and 4% are Sikh.

Faith seems to play an active part in the lives of many of Leicester’s communities. There are approximately 150 places of Christian worship in the city, 2 Jewish synagogues, 36 mosques — majority of which are Sunni mosques –  22 Hindu temples, 7 Sikh Gudwaras and 1 Jain temple.

Over recent years, particularly since the arrival of Somali communities from 2001, as well as asylum seekers and refugees, the Muslim population in the city has significantly increased. This growth is expected to continue as 26% of the school population is Muslim and 15% Hindu.

Alongside English there are around 70 languages and/or dialects spoken in the city: Gujarati is the preferred language of 16% of the city’s residents, Punjabi 3%, Somali 4% and Urdu 2%. Other smaller language groups include Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Malayalam and Polish.

In Leicenster the 30% of members of the 2011 Leicester City Council have an ethnic minority background,  compared to 3% of councillors nationally.

A Mahatma Gandhi statue open the Belgrave Road,The Apostolic Gospel choir  is made up of Africans and West Indians, with the exception of one  white English woman, the St Mathews youth club organizes open days  to help break barriers between rival groups, as the sessions of hairdressing.