Details revealed in £65m Oasis plans
8:10am Friday 9th November 2012 in By David Wiles
Martin Barber, Moirai capital investments, Coun Garry Perkins, children’s services, and Coun Keith Williams, cabinet member for leisure & transport, survey the plans for the Oasis development
MORE details have been revealed on the £65m Oasis Leisure Centre revamp ahead of public exhibitions today and tomorrow.
Moirai Capital Investments, which took over the centre in June, signed a deal with Swindon Council earlier this year to refurbish the old centre and later provide other leisure facilities on the adjoining Clares factory site, including an hotel, an arena and indoor ski slope.
After months of planning, the developer is seeking public feedback on the outline proposals, which will go on display there today, from 1pm to 8pm and tomorrow from 10am to noon, then from 1pm to 6pm.
On Wednesday night, the Adver and other special guests were given a peak at the draft masterplan which, coincidentally, was produced by S&P Architects, founded by the Oasis’ original designers, Peter Sargent and Mark Potiriadis.
Peter Holmes, of Moirai, said: “The team has got international credentials. They have been involved in the Olympic Stadium, he development of the X-scape throughout the UK and in the Wembley Stadium development.
“They’re a superb team and it’s with great confidence we look forward to delivering what will be a first class, indeed a world class, development in Swindon.”
The existing Oasis will be refurbished by the end of 2013.
This will see a larger, 100-station gym installed on the site of the indoor bowls facility, new plastic panels installed in the iconic dome, the changing rooms and toilets refurbished, and the kiosk moved back so customers do not have to queue outside.
Moirai hopes in coming weeks to announce a “household name” as the chosen operator.
Another plan is an indoor ski slope which, at between 180 and 200 metres long, will be one of the longest in the UK.
There will be be associated shops selling sports equipment and clothing, plus food and drink outlets, and there will also be space for other leisure uses, possibly an ice climbing wall and an snowball-fighting area.
The other key attraction is a 7,500-seater arena, which could be the biggest in southern England outside London.
It could be run by a national operator, which is in discussions with Moirai. The existing main hall would be kept for sports.
There is also a bid to incorporate a part of the London Olympics basketball stadium into the Oasis. Barr Constru-ction, the basketball stadium owner, and another contractor, are working out how to configure the outer shell of the iconic building to make this possible, although no agreement has yet been made over Swindon getting the stadium.
A value hotel is planned to be built just south of the Great Western Way and it has been suggested that accommodation – possibly affordable flats or student digs – could be built on the site of the existing football pitches.
The football pitches would be moved to the site of the BMW track, and a combined BMX and skate park would be constructed further north as part of work to improve the existing facilities.
The developer also plans new public areas between the Oasis and the new leisure development, creating a central plaza with restaurants.
Three multi-storey car parks would be added.
Moirai aims to submit an outline planning application in March, which would be considered by the council’s July planning committee with the aim of the first new facility opening in 2015.
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