MP urges council to find way of reopening Oasis

By Barrie Hudson - 18 November 2020

Community

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland has appealed to Swindon Borough Council following the shock Oasis closure announcement.

  • Bosses blamed covid for the closure

    Bosses blamed covid for the closure

Mr Buckland spoke after Oasis operator GLL announced it would be handing the lease back to landlord Seven Capital, blaming the pandemic's impact on business.

Mr Buckland said: “The Oasis is a very important local amenity for us all here in Swindon. 

"I have already spoken to the owners of the site, Seven Capital, and urged them to work closely with Swindon Borough Council to find a way forward that will allow the Oasis to reopen and for improvements to be made to a much loved local amenity.

“I will carry on working to try and achieve a positive outcome for all of us who know and love the Oasis.”

The impact of covid led social enterprise and leisure operator GLL and landlord Seven Capital to review the future of the Oasis.

This review concluded that the continued operation of the Centre was not viable.  Both parties are finalising an agreement that will see GLL surrender its lease to Seven Capital.

The decision will mean the Oasis Leisure Centre will not reopen on 3 December when lockdown restrictions are lifted.  

Staff consultation has begun, with GLL looking to redeploy colleagues, where possible, at alternative facilities. A total of 12 contracted staff will be directly affected.

GLL will continue to operate six municipal leisure centres in Swindon - Croft Sports Centre, Delta Tennis Centre, Dorcan Recreation Complex, Haydon Centre & Gym, the Health Hydro and Link Centre, with the support of Swindon Borough Council.  

GLL Regional Director for Swindon Jamie Coleshill said: “We recognise the significant impact the closure of the Oasis will have on our customers; particularly the loss of the unique, albeit very tired, leisure pools.  

"We are committed to supporting the Oasis’s gym, swim and Better Swim School customers to relocate to alternative leisure centres within Swindon and will be in touch with them over the coming days.

“The closure of all leisure facilities across the UK for over five months due to the two lockdowns, coupled with the requirement to now operate at reduced capacity in order to comply with social distancing, has created extremely challenging operating conditions.

“Closing leisure facilities and reducing staff numbers is not a decision we take lightly.  It is with great regret that we have come to this point, but we believe it is the only option available to us.  

"As a charitable social enterprise we are not in a position to continue operating a facility that requires capital investment and is losing money, while accruing significant rent liabilities.”

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