Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Olympic stadium could form part of Oasis redevelopment
PART of the 2012 Olympic basketball arena could come to Swindon to help build a concert venue and sports hall at the redeveloped Oasis Leisure Centre.
Moirai Capital Investments, the developer leading the £65m overhaul, has registered an interest in securing part of the 12,000-capacity stadium, which will be dismantled after the Games.
Under the draft plans and depending of how much, if any, of the building comes to Swindon, a section could create a 5,000 to 7,000-seater multi-use arena which could be used for concerts, as well as a sports hall.
Barr Construction, the Scottish firm which built the stadium at London’s Olympic Park, said in January that its “preferred” option would be to re-use the whole stadium at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but if not, there were others interested in using it.
The Adver understands the deadline for Brazil to confirm the deal recently elapsed, meaning it no longer has first refusal.
The paper also understands there at are least four organisations, including Moirai, which have expressed an interest.
A decision is expected by August, but it is still early days and nothing is certain.
The Adver reported last week that Swindon Council also hopes to get about £1m worth of plant equipment, used in a temporary Olympic training pool, to build a 50m pool at the Link Centre.
Commenting on the basketball stadium, Coun Keith Williams, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “It’s a great opportunity. It really shows that with regards to the Olympic legacy, Swindon is looking to capitalise on that as much as possible.
“And where people have been unable to get tickets, generations of Swindonians will be able to benefit from a once-in-a-lifetime Olympic Games.”
Coun Williams said Moirai hoped to get a length of the building, plus an end wall, which would be used to build the new facility on the adjoining former Clares factory site.
The Adver understands that, providing the developer gets a sufficient section, there would be a separate arena and the sports hall, but it might end up as one flexible space. The Adver also understands that the council and Moirai plan to build the arena, regardless of whether parts come from the Olympics.
The arena would replace the Oasis sports hall as Swindon’s main concert venue, while the new sports hall could be used for sports such as basketball, squash and badminton.
Coun Williams said: “It’s fitting that gap because we do have smaller venues, and we can get 3,000 capacity at the moment, but this would bring things to a whole new level.
“We will have a greater range of acts, attract the larger acts that wouldn’t normally perform in somewhere like the Oasis.
“The acoustics will be better with this facility, so I think it’s definitely moving in the right direction and will be a great benefit for the people of Swindon.”
The Oasis is set to transfer to Moirai on June 1, with the start of a 12-month refurbishment. Work to build further leisure facilities, including an indoor ski slope would take place in later phases.