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‘Great day’ as £60m Oasis project starts
WORK on transforming the Oasis into one of the country’s top leisure centres is in full swing.
When fully completed the complex will house Europe’s longest indoor ski slope at 200m – 30m longer than at the Milton Keynes Snozone – along with a 6,500 seater arena for concerts and sports events.
The first stage is a £2 million refurbishment before the full project begins.
The outside of the building has already been given a new coat of paint and the building of a new gym has begun.
The full refurbishment will see the reception area extended, the changing facilities upgraded and the iconic dome replaced with a new dome.
It is hoped the new gym, which will boast 110 stations, will be completed by the end of the year with the rest of the work completed by the end of spring next year.
The swimming area may have to close for a short period while work to the changing rooms is carried out but developers are hoping this will be minimal.
Last year, the lease of the company was given to Moirai Capital Investments by the council to develop the run down site.
“We’re excited about the future plans for the Oasis and what it will mean for Swindon,” said Paddy Herlihy, managing director of Smaller World, who are working with Moirai.
“Swindon has always been at the forefront of leisure in the country. The Health Hydro was among the first to be built and the Oasis was also one of the first leisure centres in the country.
“We will now be carrying on from that legacy. When it is complete people from all over the country will come to use these facilities.”
Almost £60 million is being spent on the refurbishment which when completed will see 1,700 jobs created, with more during construction.
Plans will be put forward in the New Year with the whole process expected to take three years to complete.
As well as the ski slope and arena, the final development will also include a new hotel, sports shops and restaurants to attract an estimated four-and-a-half million visitors.
Mr Herlihy added: “Swindon is in an ideal location for people to come from all over the country.
“Skiers will come for the slope and the arena will rival the top centres.
“This is a partnership between us and the council who have shown foresight to trust us with this upgrade.”
Councillor Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw) added: “This is a great day for Swindon – absolutely fantastic.
“People often doubt these projects will start but they can now see work has started. Swindon has always been on the map but this will make it the centre of the M4 corridor.”
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