HOMEBASE in Greenock will close down by the end of the year at the latest - and moves are afoot to find a new shop for the building.

It's been confirmed that the company must vacate the West Shaw Street building by December 31 under the terms of the rescue plan to help save the struggling DIY chain.

The prominent town centre building is owned by private investment firm, Triple Jersey Limited, and bosses there are hopeful of luring a new tenant.

Homebase was on the verge of going bust earlier this year until company turnaround specialists, Hilco Capital, who famously rescued HMV in 2013, stepped in and bought the business for £1 from Australian firm Westfarmers.

But it was announced at the end of August that a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) had been approved meaning the closure of 42 stores, including the one in Greenock.

The deal means 1,500 jobs are under threat across the country.

It is unclear how many people work at the Greenock outlet but reports suggest there are, on average, 25 staff per Homebase store.

A source said: "Under the terms of the CVA proposal, the store needs to have been vacated by 31 December, 2018.

"The closing date has not been confirmed."

There have been question marks over the future of the Greenock Homebase for some time, particularly since it was turned into a clearance outlet in January.

A closing down sale is now under way with everything up for grabs - including shop fixtures, fittings and even office furniture.

Property consultant to the owners, Bill Sarre, from management firm Hawksford, said: "Whilst it is sad news that Homebase are closing, we believe the property will be a good opportunity for another occupier. "Accordingly, we have instructed agents in Scotland to market the premises in order to find a new tenant."

Real estate experts Savills has been instructed to manage and lease the property.