Ocean Terminal to create gateway to waterfront with ‘transformational redevelopment’

A new vision has been unveiled for a transformational redevelopment of Ocean Terminal in Leith that will see the 20-year-old centre open up to the waterfront.

Ocean Terminal to create gateway to waterfront with 'transformational redevelopment'

Having purchased the shopping centre in March last year, Ambassador Group said it has used insights gained over the past eighteen months to advance plans to turn Ocean Terminal into a gateway to the waterfront for the local community, adding to the wider regeneration of Leith.

In a newly submitted pre-application notice with the City of Edinburgh Council, the new masterplan for the site includes a new mixed-use space that maximises the location and aspect on to the Firth of Forth, created at a new linked entrance to the centre.

Reflecting the change in people’s priorities post-pandemic, the proposal promises a mix of indoor and outdoor space achieved by the demolition of the existing north multistorey car park and the former Debenhams store to allow the remaining building to be reconfigured with updated spaces for new commercial opportunities facing a dramatic streetscape to the waterfront.

There will be a consolidation of Ocean Terminal’s recent shift in strategy to attract and retain tenants that are aligned to local and national policy objectives supporting ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’. Complementing the continuing regeneration of Leith which has seen new homes, schools and businesses emerge, the proposals support local jobs while also cementing Leith’s distinct appeal as a popular choice for visitors to the capital.

The final stage of the masterplan is to introduce a mix of much-needed housing on the waterfront, integrating with the trams to Newhaven extension and new local amenities, to add to the vibrancy of the local community and the sustainability of the local economy.

Following the submission of the Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) today, Ocean Terminal will now conduct public consultation beginning with an online exhibition set to go live on September 23. A full planning application is expected in early 2022, with a view to start works later that year.

The redevelopment represents an investment of more than £100 million.

Chris Richardson is the managing director for Ambassador Investments, which is responsible for developing a range of residential properties and commercial buildings across Scotland.

He said: “We’re planning a transformational redevelopment that will finally realise Ocean Terminal’s potential as a leading waterfront destination, whilst placing the changing priorities of residents, businesses, visitors and shoppers centre stage. The retail industry and the local environment has evolved significantly in recent years and this redevelopment will create a sustainable destination that people will continue to enjoy for years to come.

“This is an exciting time for Ocean Terminal, and we look forward to sharing that vision as we move forward.”

Ambassador Group has appointed planning consultants Turley, building surveyors PMP, and architects Keppie Design to advise on the project.

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