The Swindon leisure centre that gave Oasis its name is set to close.
As reported by the Swindon Advertiser, the facility – which includes a gym, water park, racquet courts and more – will not be reopening its doors after England’s second lockdown lifts due to “challenging operating conditions” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oasis Leisure Centre was built in 1976 and became a local landmark due to its domed design. However, it was in 1991 when it became part of Britpop history, when Liam Gallagher was inspired to use its name to replace his band’s original moniker, the Rain, after seeing the venue on a poster for an Inspiral Carpets gig.
His brother Noel – who shared a room with Liam and was Inspiral Carpets‘ roadie – went on to join the band and of course become their chief songwriter.
Swindon borough council leader David Renard said of the decision: “This is really disappointing news for the staff and my thoughts are with them and their families at this difficult time.
“I am personally very sad GLL has taken the decision to surrender its lease with Seven Capital on the Oasis, but Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on leisure providers and the leisure industry as a whole.
“We are continuing to work with Seven Capital, as landlord of the Oasis, and GLL, who continue to operate six leisure centres on behalf of the council.”
GLL’s 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.”
It is reported by the outlet that the staff affected by the closure will be moved to other leisure centres where possible.
Source: Radio X