Ocean Terminal

Ocean Terminal
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Ocean Terminal

Located on the water-front at Leith and representing a redevelopment of the central section of the Leith Docks complex, Ocean Terminal is a Edinburgh's largest shopping and leisure complex, initially comprising a department store, further retailing outlets, restaurants, a 12-screen cinema and a cruise-ship terminal. Opened in 2001, the architect was Sir Terence Conran (of Conran and Partners).

The prestigious complex is centred around the Britannia Visitor Centre, which provides access to the former Royal Yacht, now permanently berthed at Leith. The former Britannia Visitor Centre, located close by, now serves as the cruise-ship terminal, with the expectation of more than 60 visiting liners each year.

The building, which cost £120 million is steel-framed, clad in reconstituted stone and extensively glazed. There are spectacular views from the terminal over the western section of the docks. A rotunda provides a focal point and gives access to the Britannia Visitor Centre and a rooftop viewing terrace. There are extensive car parks with 1600 spaces, together with 160 spaces in cycle racks.

The centre was jointly owned by Forth Ports Plc and Lloyds Banking Group, with the former buying out the latter in 2009. Forth Ports sold the Ocean Terminal to Resolution Property in 2012. The centre has suffered since it lost its anchor stores (BHS closed in 2016 and Debenhams followed in 2020) with other store closures thereafter. In 2020, the struggling venture was taken over by its creditor ICG Real Estate in conjunction with the Glasgow-based Ambassador Group, who have promised to revitalise it.

Ocean Terminal was at the centre of the 'Festival of the Sea' in 2003.

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