Ocean Terminal redevelopment expected to be complete by end of 2024

The upgrade of the shopping centre is part of a £250m investment in Leith's waterfront.

Bosses at Ocean Terminal have confirmed the redevelopment of the centre is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

The project, which comes as part of a £250m investment in Leith’s waterfront, hit a major milestone this week as main demolition work got under way.

In 2021, owners Ambassador Group announced plans to demolish a third of the shopping mall to revive the centre and make way for more than 530 new homes.

Supermarket giant Tesco, a family entertainment centre and a bingo venue have already been confirmed for the site, along with plans to open up the waterfront to the public.

Michelle Whitelaw, marketing manager at Ocean Terminal, said: “What we need to do is create a better waterfront environment for the long term and shopping centres across the country have to repurpose.

“We’ve just been very lucky and fortunate that actually we had ambitious owners and people who had the spirit, energy and drive to keep this going and actually are following it through.”

Construction workers began stripping the former Debenhams site at the shopping centre late last year but main demolition work only commenced earlier this week.

It’s a complex operation that will take place while the rest of the shopping centre remains open.

In the last few weeks, popular units like Pure Gym and the entrance to The Royal Yacht Britannia have moved location within the centre in order to clear the demolition area.

Andy Lawrie from the Project Management Partnership said: “We’re going to start disconnecting the demolition site from the main centre over the next two three months, to then facilitate works that are coming in to the book-end.”

One attraction that’s been at the centre from the very beginning in 2001 is The Royal Yacht Britannia – which is looking forward to a fresh change.

Casey Rust, head of marketing at the Royal Yacht Britannia said: “Being an attraction that’s been based in Ocean Terminal for over 20 years, there are challenges with messaging and wayfinding, however the ultimate goal is we will get a band new visitor centre and a new shop.”

Other businesses are already pulling in the benefits.

Johnny Dalziel from Pure Gym said: “Now that the centre development is moving, the tram works are complete, we’re starting to see a big surge, not only for us as Pure Gym, but as a centre as a whole, the footfall is definitely increasing which is quite positive to see and I think it’s only going to continue with the other businesses that are coming on board as well.”

Once the redevelopment of the centre is complete by the end of this year, phase two of the plans will get underway.

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