Council backs revamp of Leith’s Ocean Terminal

New Ocean Terminal neighbourhood
The area around Ocean Terminal will be opened up

A plan to reconnect Leith with its waterfront by redeveloping the Ocean Terminal shopping centre is about to get under way after getting council backing.

After three years of talks, the developer Ambassador Investment Management will proceed with part-demolition of the multi-storey car park and former Debenhams retail unit to make way for a pedestrian-focused waterside community that will turn the inward-looking and desolate shopping mall into a thriving ‘town centre’.

The £250 million redevelopment will include 530 homes, courtyards, open spaces, commercial units and a medical centre. It will open up access to the Royal Yacht Britannia which is currently hidden from view and shares the dockside with car parking.

Neil Whatley, associate director at Keppie Design which developed the architectural design of the proposals, said:  “Ambassador Investment Management’s bold and determined vision will allow the Ocean Terminal project to buck the current trend for whole-scale retail demolition – instead retaining and reimagining the existing asset.”

Colin Smith, head of planning Scotland at Turley, acting for Ambassador Investment Management, said: “This approval marks a significant milestone in Ocean Terminal and Leith’s regeneration, completing the strategic reshaping of Ocean Terminal from an inward-looking, retail and leisure-driven commercial centre, to an outward-looking, mixed-use town centre.”

Bingo hall to house students

Plans to turn the bingo hall on Leith’s Manderston Steet into student housing would meet growing demand and also free up residential properties that otherwise would have been used by students, whose numbers in Edinburgh’s universities grew by over 25% between 2016/17 and 2021/22.

Developer Longstone (2) has unveiled plans to conserve and redevelop the existing building located in a conservation area in response to a local desire to preserve it.

The proposals follow the decision by the current operators of the bingo hall, Club 3000, to move to new premises in nearby Ocean Terminal in summer 2024.  

The conservation and retention of the property restricts its potential uses.

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