Oasis, the Swindon leisure centre that gave one of the UK’s biggest bands its name, is to close down. Operators of the facility, which features a waterpark, gym, racquet sport courts and more, have blamed “challenging operating conditions” amid the coronavirus pandemic for the closure.
“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,” said Jamie Coleshill, regional director of operators GLL. “We are committed to supporting the Oasis’s gym, swim and Better Swim School customers to relocate to alternative leisure centres within Swindon.”
Swindon borough council leader David Renard acknowledged it was “really disappointing news … but Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on leisure providers and the leisure industry.” Labour councillor Jim Grant said: “GLL are using Covid-19 as an excuse to close Oasis.”
Built in 1976, the Oasis leisure centre was already a local landmark for its domed design, but earned a footnote in British pop history in 1991 when Liam Gallagher decided on the name for his band. They had previously been called the Rain, but Gallagher took inspiration from a poster for an Inspiral Carpets gig that was hanging in the bedroom he shared with brother Noel, which featured a date at the leisure centre.
Noel, a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, would soon join the newly-named Oasis, who went on to define the Britpop scene and sell tens of millions of albums.