NEW YORK - The developers of the planned Islamic community centre and mosque near the site of 9/11 attacks in New York have applied for grants from an agency tasked with helping lower part of the city recover from the attacks of September 11, 2001. The request was for about $5m, The NYT reported Wednesday, quote an unnamed source. In a statement, the developer, Sharif el-Gamal, said that the board of the project known as Park51, asked for the financing from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation about two weeks ago. The money, which would come from a pool of $2b in federal financing administered by the corporation, would be used for domestic violence prevention programmes, language classes, art exhibitions and other social services at the centre. Park51 remains committed to exploring all sources of revenue and funding to build the community centre in Lower Manhattan, Gamal said. It is important to note that this community centre will provide hundreds of construction jobs over the next few years and when opened will provide 150 permanent jobs. The plans for the centre created a national furore this summer after opponents complained that its location, two blocks from the northern edge of ground zero, was inappropriate. Since then, the evolving plans for the centre - and especially its financing- have come under scrutiny. Gamal has said he plans to raise the $140 million required to build the centre by tapping small donors, enlisting paying members and courting corporations and philanthropists. Nothing has been raised yet, but the developers insist that their fund-raising efforts are going according to plan and that they have found interested donors. The centre would include a Muslim prayer space, a swimming pool, a preschool and a 9/11 memorial. Amid opposition, if the centre receives money from the development corporation, it will be subjected to rigorous federal reporting requirements, the Times said.