Edinburgh Ocean Terminal to be partially demolished after council approves multi-million transformation plan

An Edinburgh shopping centre is set to be partially demolished under newly approved £100m plans to transform the Leith shopping centre.

Artists impression shows the new frontage of Ocean Terminal under the plans
Artists impression shows the new frontage of Ocean Terminal under the plans

Around a third of the 20-year-old Ocean Terminal complex would be razed to transform the centre and make way for new housing.

Plans approved by the Council on Wednesday (September 21) will see the first phase of the 20-year-old shopping centre’s transformation go ahead, opening up the Leith waterfront and creating a new ‘community-led complex’.

Under the approved scheme, the north end of the existing centre will be demolished and a new frontage constructed, with retail and hospitality units looking out on to new public realm.

It comes after the Simply Food M&S shop in the centre announced it would be shutting down with the company citing “changing” shopping habits as the reason behind the decision.

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Ocean Terminal said the decision meant the shopping complex can “actively pursue a range of opportunities for partnership with alternative food retailers”.

Further detailed plans for the construction of a mixed-use development comprising a range of housing, commercial units and public realm with a new walkway and cycle tracks along the water line, can now be submitted to the Council this winter.

The full plans, which lodged in March this year by the centre’s Scottish owners Ambassador Group following consultation including two public exhibitions, have shown strong local support for the new vision for the area.

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Chris Richardson, managing director at Ambassador Investments said: “This is another great milestone for the project. We are delighted that City of Edinburgh Council has supported our plans to reconfigure Ocean Terminal, enabling us to continue to shape the transformation of the centre and its important waterfront location.

“We are consulting widely to secure Ocean Terminal’s future resilience and sustainability and even against a backdrop of continuing change within the retail and hospitality sectors, we have been encouraged by an overwhelmingly positive reception to our vision for a centre that meets the needs of the local community. This is particularly reflected in tenant lease extensions, alongside the confirmation of new and long-term tenancies within the centre.

“With phase one approved, we now look forward to finalising details for phase two before submitting these plans to the Council later in the year.”

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