THE Oasis Leisure Centre will not reopen after lockdown lifts next month.
The impact of both lockdowns has led to social enterprise and leisure operator GLL and landlord Seven Capital deciding that the facility’s future is no longer viable.
They came to this decision after carrying out a review of their options and saw that the amount of money being lost and rent required made continuing to operate the site difficult.
An agreement is being finalised which will see GLL give back its lease to Seven Capital.
This will mean that the Oasis Leisure Centre will not reopen on December 3 when lockdown restrictions are lifted and 12 contracted staff will be directly affected.
Staff consultation has begun and colleagues will be moved to other leisure centres where possible.
GLL’s regional director for Swindon Jamie Coleshill said: “We recognise the significant impact the closure of the Oasis will have on our customers – particularly the loss of the unique, albeit very tired, leisure pools.
“We are committed to supporting the Oasis’s gym, swim and Better Swim School customers to relocate to alternative leisure centres within Swindon and will be in touch with them over the coming days.
“The closure of all leisure facilities across the UK for over five months due to the two lockdowns, coupled with the requirement to now operate at reduced capacity in order to comply with social distancing, has created extremely challenging operating conditions.
“Closing leisure facilities and reducing staff numbers is not a decision we take lightly. It is with great regret that we have come to this point, but we believe it is the only option available to us.
“As a charitable social enterprise, we are not in a position to continue operating a facility that requires capital investment and is losing money, while accruing significant rent liabilities.”
GLL will continue to operate six municipal leisure centres in Swindon, including Croft Sports Centre, Delta Tennis Centre, Dorcan Recreation Complex, Haydon Centre & Gym, the Health Hydro and Link Centre, with the support of Swindon Borough Council.
A spokesperson for SevenCapital said: “It is disappointing news for both the employees of the Oasis and the community of Swindon as the Oasis is a well-used and much-loved community facility.
“We are currently working with Swindon Borough Council to navigate this, through a difficult climate for the leisure industry as a whole, brought on by the pandemic this year.”