Moirai Capital Investments Limited announced a revised plan for the Swindon Oasis and North Star development in mid-March, including the first artist impression of what the £95 million multi-facility complex could look like.
The revisions follow detailed consideration of a new layout for the site to ensure the greatest customer satisfaction and a very encouraging meeting with members and officers from Swindon Council where architects and consultants for the scheme presented the new plans illustrated here.
The Council endorsed the proposed changes to the existing plans in principle and encouraged Moirai to proceed to an outline planning application.
Commenting, Mr Rach said: “The changes in the plans are an important development in the planning process of the Oasis and the North Star sites. They reflect a fundamental reconsideration of how the various elements of the £95 million scheme work together to create a major enhancement to leisure and entertainment in Swindon and the south-west.
“The most striking change in the plans is the bringing together of the various elements so that they are, effectively, all under one roof. This means that visitors to the development will be able to move easily among all the various attractions."
Facilities to make Swindon the best leisure destination in the South
All the elements originally planned for the site are still included. In addition to the existing, refurbished Oasis facilities, there will be:
• a music and entertainment arena with a capacity of some 6,500 seats
• a two hundred metre real snow ski slope (the longest in the UK), with a separate slope for beginners and a fun snow area
• ten-pin bowling
• a multiplex cinema
• a hotel
• leisure-related retail, cafés, restaurants and bars
• multi-storey parking.
Associated with these proposals will be important improvements to the open spaces and public areas, making them much more user-friendly and attractive. The overall development will provide in excess of 100,00 square metres (more than one million square feet).
The radical changes in the plan will be the subject of a further phase of public consultation.
Mr Rach added: "We are confident that the revisions which have been made will be welcomed as further enhancing the appeal of the scheme. We were greatly encouraged by the response of the council members and officials when we presented the revisions to them. They were extremely supportive of the changes being proposed.
"In the light of this, our intention is to have outline planning for the full development submitted in June, with detailed plans for the arena – which will be the first phase of new-build – following in the autumn.
"We are confident that the revised scheme will become an important destination for leisure and entertainment, and will draw significant numbers of visitors to Swindon, with all the commercial benefits which will flow from that.”
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and strategic transport, commented: “I am delighted at the improvements Moirai have made to the plans having taken on board public feedback from the consultation late last year.
“This development will make Swindon the best indoor skiing venue in the country. Understandably there is a great deal of excitement surrounding the scheme and the leisure and employment benefits it will provide to Swindon.”
The men behind Moirai Capital Investments
Moirai was set up by a group of investors led by chairman of the board Martin Barber, right, who said he had been looking for a project.
He said: “I had retired from companies in the UK and the USA and having been responsible for X-scape in Milton Keynes, Castleford and Braehead, Scotland, I was looking for a site in the south to get involved with."
Fellow Moirai partner Peter Holmes, below, said: “When it opened in the 1970s the Oasis was one of the first in Britain to create the concept of a leisure destination. We are very pleased that Moirai were chosen by Swindon Council to recreate that vision of the town as a major attraction.
“Situated between the O2 Arena, the NEC and the Cardiff Millennium Centre, Swindon is the perfect location for what we propose. Many visitors to the new development will want to explore what else Swindon and its surrounds offer. The economic benefits to the town are going to be huge.”
Read Swindonlink’s coverage of the first public consultation for the North Star site in November 2012.
Photos: Richard Wintle ©Calyx Multimedia, 41, Churchward Avenue, Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon SN2 1NJ • 01793 520131 MOB: 07836 205196 www.calyxpix.com