A MEMBER of the team that worked on the Oasis Leisure Centre has spoken passionately about why it deserves to be saved.

Robert Guy worked alongside the two original Oasis architects. Their work inspired him to become an architect himself and he went on to design many leisure centres around the UK.

He gave a talk to the Twentieth Century Society after it featured the Oasis in its top 10 buildings at risk list for 2021.

The Save Oasis Swindon campaign has pushed for the North Star building to be listed. Mr Guy agrees with them, and explained what makes the facility so special.

He said: “One of the reasons why Swindon’s should be listed is that it is the last example that could be saved – it’s actually probably one of the best ones.

“All the projects from the ‘70s, with the exception of Swindon, have been demolished. Not a single one of them survives.

“Given what’s there, it’s quite important. It’s a building of note and had it been done by a different architect I think it might have been that much more secure.

“I recommend people support the listing of this building to try to preserve it.”

During the online broadcast, he looked through the archive into designs from 1972 but mentioned that some of the documents had been lost.

Save Oasis Swindon has pushed for the dome to be kept in any redesign of the facility and again, Robert Guy agreed.

He added: “It was conceived as a dome and that was an integral part of its concept.

“One of the buildings that I was responsible for the design of houses a leisure pool, the reception area and a 50-metre pool.

“We don’t build that many wave pools now because they’re quite expensive to operate.

“Sports have grown and taken over and local authorities have lost the desire to provide things like leisure pools which are regarded as just fun. The difficulty we have is that a lot of what’s incorporated into these buildings will come and go, it’s very transitional and made of materials that just don’t last.”

Swindon Borough Council and the site’s leaseholders Seven Capital have insisted the 44-year-old structure would be too expensive to maintain in its current form.

Local authority bosses warned that listing the 1970s building could prevent a multi-million pound regeneration from happening.Earlier this year, the council and the development company revealed images of how a wholly revamped and dome-less Oasis might look.

The flumes and beach would remain but council leader David Renard said, when the new images were unveiled in March, that some of the building was not fit for purpose or energy-efficient and would have to be altered significantly.

Adding a building to the Historic England list doesn’t prevent refurbishment but it makes it more difficult and more expensive as specific permissions must be sought for every change.

GLL, which ran the centre for Seven Capital, declared in November that it could no longer afford to keep the Oasis open.