THE former Marks and Spencer store in Greenock has been sold for £200,000 to mystery new owners.

A deal for the Hamilton Way outlet inside the Oak Mall has been concluded after it went under the hammer.

The huge 50,000 sq ft unit has been vacant since M&S quit the shopping centre for the Port Glasgow retail park in September 2017 after 81 years in the town.

A spokesperson for the firm said the company no longer has any ties to the Greenock building.

The property was sold by London-based auctioneers Acuitus for the guide price of £200,000, having been billed as ‘a large, well-configured shop’ with retail space on the ground and first floors with ancillary accommodation on the second floor.

Mystery surrounds the identity of the new owners and what their plans are for the prominent town centre store.

The Tele tried to speak to them via the Oak Mall but a shopping centre official said the new owners had declined to comment and ‘want to remain anonymous’.

A representative from auctioneers, Acuitus, said they are not in contact with the new owners.

The property is currently available ‘to let’ by Glasgow-based chartered surveyors Sutherland Brown, described as a ‘100 per cent prime former department store fitted out to an extremely high standard’.

M&S originally opened in Greenock on December 4, 1936, in 57 Hamilton Street before moving to 33 Hamilton Way where the company remained until last year.

An extension was built in 1968/9, with the sales floor increasing from 11,000 to 15,600 sq ft.

There was a further expansion in 1973, growing the retail space to 26,400 sq ft.

Around 70 staff worked in the Oak Mall shop and relocated to the store in Port Glasgow to join an additional 40 new employees.