THE shut-down Oasis has been broken into again by ‘urban explorer’ daredevils.
A video posted yesterday on Tik-Tok by user Urbeks shows a young woman inside the pool area of the leisure centre.
The 29-second video opens with a shot of the drained pool with the words: “So we decided to go to an abandoned water park”.
Over dance music, there is a panning shot of the pool, then pictures of the entrances to and the exits of the water slides.
Members of a campaign group set up try and get the leisure centre in North Star opened again say they also encountered a break-in last week.
All this comes as the Save Oasis Swindon group revealed plans for a protest at the site on Saturday, June 19. It says Swindon is in danger of losing it’s well-loved leisure centre for ever if no action is taken.
The Urbeks account seems to focus on her “exploring” places – and according to campaigners from Save Oasis Swindon – the centre is becoming a target.
A spokesman said: “This seems to be increasing. As the Oasis has been posted on Urban Explorer forums for people across the country to see, they have been travelling some distance.”
The spokesman added that its members found the centre unguarded and open last week.
He said: “We found the plant room door was wide open and it wasn’t re-secured for over four hours after reporting it. We had to guard it ourselves.
“We found chemicals in there still rigged up, like sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid. Highly dangerous stuff inside, along with exposed cables. Sooner or later there will be a fatality inside the Oasis.”
“How much longer do we have to go on with this?”
The site on which Oasis stands is owned by Swindon Borough Council, which used to own and operate the centre.
But a 99-year lease was given to development company Seven Capital, which still has more than 80 years to run, making the company the effective owner and responsible for its maintenance and security.
Council leader David Renard said: “The responsibility for the security and maintenance of the Oasis rests with the leaseholder Seven Capital. We have a regular dialogue with Seven Capital about the short and long-term future of the centre and raise any issues brought to our attention by residents or campaigners.
“We will continue to engage with them about how a sustainable future will be secured for the Oasis.”
But neither campaigners nor opposition councillors are impressed by what they see as responsibility being shirked.
Labour council and chairman of the authority’s scrutiny committee Jim Robbins said: “After the leader of the council, David Renard committed in January to take on responsibility for ‘ensuring the leaseholder protects the building from criminal activity’, he needs to answer questions on how many break-ins have taken place at the Oasis, and why they keep happening.
“It is so sad to see the Oasis go the same way as the Locarno and the Mechanics’ Institute. Swindon deserves better than this neglect of a key heritage asset.”
The Save Oasis Swindon spokesman added: “The truth is, the council and leader David Renard have failed to adhere to their own pledge earlier this year to ensure the building is regularly maintained. Instead, the buck was passed constantly back to Seven Capital. An absolute disgrace.”
The protest is at the site on June 19 between 2pm and 3.30pm.
A spokesperson for SevenCapital said: “It is highly disappointing that a small minority continue to trespass within the Oasis, putting both themselves and the venue at risk of harm. We continue to work with Swindon Borough Council to determine and confirm a viable solution for the Oasis, however this type of behaviour is unhelpful and also demonstrates a clear disregard for those members of the community to whom the Oasis matters as a facility.
are engaging with the police on this matter and will be seeking legal action against those involved in this activity.”