A leisure centre in Swindon that served as inspiration for Oasis’ band name is closing down.
Operators of Oasis Leisure Centre said the financial impact of both lockdowns made it impossible to continue operating the Wiltshire water park that was a popular destination for trips from schools in Gloucestershire
Too much money was being lost and the rent demands made continuing after lockdown lifted on December 2 impossible, claimed the operators.
Operators GLL will return their lease of the 44-year-old centre, popular for its pools, slides and wave machine, to landlord Seven Capital.
In 1991, The Oasis Leisure Centre was listed as a gig venue for another rock band Inspiral Carpets – guitarist and singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher was their roadie at the time.
Music writer John Harris wrote in his book Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock, frontman Liam Gallagher saw the venue and was taken by the name. At the time, Oasis were called The Rain.
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Noel had just joined his brother’s band when Liam, inspired by the Inspiral Carpets tour poster in their bedroom, suggested the name change.
That’s the story, morning glory – however, the the popular leisure centre’s story, which spans as far back as 1976, is about to end.
GLL’s regional director for Swindon Jamie Coleshill told the Swindon Advertiser: “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.
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“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.”