Ocean Terminal: New community hub launches in former Debenhams store

The former Debenhams store at Ocean Terminal has temporarily re-opened its doors to welcome community groups from across Edinburgh into a space known as The Wee Hub.

Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 2:19 pm

Organised by the Living Memory Association, over the next few months The Wee Hub will occupy the ground and first floor of the old Debenhams department store bringing in a variety of arts, drama and sports organisations to make use of the space.

Miles Tubb, project co-ordinator of The Living Memory Association said: “Our new community hub provides a much-needed lifeline to groups on the back of Covid-19 that require additional and flexible space to support their needs.

"Whilst this is a temporary facility for us to use and enjoy, it is fantastic that Ocean Terminal has had the drive and determination to repurpose the unit for the community, rather than leaving it to stand empty.”

A specific area has been designated for use as a library, while other spots will be used for dance and theatre, children’s play, and crafts. There is even an area named the ‘wee sit and knit’ designed to bring people of all ages together.

Community groups taking advantage of the new hub include the Citadel Youth Centre, Edinburgh Festival Carnival, Thistle Model Makers and Street Soccer.

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While the wider shopping centre is going through planning consents to revitalise the space in the longer term, the empty Debenhams store of over 90,000 sq ft has been made available by the owners for community groups to use and enjoy for free.

Ocean Terminal: New community hub launches in former Debenhams store

Michelle Macleod, centre manager at Ocean Terminal said: “As a team we are excited to welcome this incredibly varied mix of sports and arts community groups to the centre.

"As our community opens up again post Covid-19, these organisations will bring new energy to the centre and create more reasons beyond our current retail and leisure offering for new and existing audiences to come to Ocean Terminal.”

A dedicated website for The Wee Hub will be launched shortly with the activity schedule for the groups, as well as highlighting upcoming special performances.

The team is keen to hear from organisations across Edinburgh who may want to use the space for one-off events. Anyone interested should email [email protected]

The Wee Hub will be used as a community base for a variety of arts, drama and sports organisations.

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Mannequins left over at the Wee Hub.