Protesters who occupied a community centre to prevent its demolition have since left the building.

East Oxford Games Hall on Collins Street was due to be demolished on June 19 so work can start on the £5.4 million development, but this has been delayed since protesters took control of the building on June 2.

The games hall was a publicly owned sports centre which was closed by the city council in 2020 but the venue has been home to more than 50 community events, including a DJ set, after protesters moved into the unused building.

READ MORE: Oxford's Muslim community hit by council's parking fines

Campaigner Dan Glazebrook told the Oxford Mail the centre had brought “joy and love” to the community and had become a lifeline for parents who did not have a garden where their children can play.

A city council spokesman said protesters left the building yesterday, June 27, and no demolition work will take place until the court has made a decision on August 8.

Mr Glazebrook said the delay to the demolition was a “victory” as the community would have time to develop their “own programme and think about what they would like for the site”.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire school closes due to Thames Water supply issues

Many who previously used the games hall as a place for sporting and cultural activities spoke about how their “entire childhood” was spent at the site in East Oxford and one regular visitor said it was in this hall that “I spoke my heart out, finally opened up and got to be myself”.

A council spokesman said: "We oppose the ill-conceived occupation of East Oxford Games Hall, which will threaten delay and increase costs to a vital project to deliver better community space and more affordable housing in this popular area.

READ MORE: Banbury: Calls for 20mph limit on 'dangerous' road

"It is part of the East Oxford Community Centre redevelopment that will provide a community centre that has modern flexible spaces that are much more energy efficient, carbon friendly and sustainable in the longer term, plus 12 council homes at the main site in Princes Street and 14 shared ownership homes on the games hall site in Collins Street."

Help support trusted local news 

Sign up for a digital subscription now: 

As a digital subscriber you will get: 

  • Unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website 
  • Advert-light access 
  • Reader rewards 
  • Full access to our app 

About the author 

To sign up to Ed's weekly Politics newsletter, click here:

Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

He joined in the team in February 2023, after completing a History undergraduate degree at the University of York and studying for his NCTJ diploma in London.

Ed’s weekly politics newsletter is released every Saturday morning.