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Oasis leisure centre refurbishment could see ski slope plan axed

Oasis Dome
The proposal involves getting the Oasis leisure centre up and running

Long-awaited plans to get an iconic leisure centre up and running again include the scrapping of plans for a ski slope and cinema next door.

Swindon Borough Council will be discussing the refurbishment of Swindon's Oasis leisure centre and the land around it at a meeting next week.

The proposal is to sell the site for at least £6m to leaseholders SevenCapital.

Oasis leisure centre would need to be refurbished before the sale.

The site has been shut for almost three years and there has been significant concern over its future.

The building's dome was listed and SevenCapital have looked at ways to reopen it in-keeping with the listing.

The council appointed specialist valuers Avison Young to work with SevenCapital on a plan to maximise the development value and make the centre viable.

The preferred proposal involves refurbishing and bringing the Oasis back into use. The North Star site next door (once the location of the Clare's factory) would then be used for other development, but this would not include more leisure facilities.

If the idea is approved, SevenCapital would start working on a planning application, which could take around a year. If approved, refurbishment would then take around two years.

Leader of Swindon Borough Council Jim Robbins said reopening the Oasis "is one of our top priorities as a new administration".

'Very challenging task'

"The costs of bringing the Oasis back into use are considerable and we have taken a pragmatic approach when looking for solutions to cover the funding gap.

"This included accepting that the much-vaunted leisure destination earmarked for the North Star site was not going to happen" he added.

Group managing director of SevenCapital, Damien Siviter, said they had "worked incredibly hard to identify and develop a feasible solution".

He said it had been "a very challenging task to work around the building's listed status" but he had confidence in the plan being put forward.

The council's cabinet will discuss the proposal on 15 November.

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