MCGILL'S owners Sandy and James Easdale have bought the former IBM site in Greenock for a cool £1.5 million, the Telegraph can exclusively reveal.

The brothers snapped up the 70-acre Spango Valley site at auction for three-times the reserve price.

As told by the Tele on Saturday, the sprawling plot of land, renamed Valley Park, was put on the market by former owners Canmoor for £500,000.

It was sold by London-based auction house, Allsop, for £1.57m at a sale in the five-star luxury Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge on Tuesday.

The lot included the former IBM office block known as the 'blue building'.

Easdale family spokesman, Jack Irvine, confirmed the McGill's supremos were the successful bidders.

Mr Irvine said: "I can confirm they have bought it but they don't want to say what their plans are."

IBM vacated Spango Valley in 2016 after 62 years there with the last-remaining staff transferred to the company's Riverside Business Park office in Pottery Street.

The rest of the site has been cleared in recent years to make it more attractive to potential developers and it has a dedicated train station, although ScotRail recently announced a temporary closure of the platforms pending redevelopment.

Inverclyde MP, Ronnie Cowan, previously said it would be ideal for a renewable energy hub while the area's MSP, Stuart McMillan, believes it has potential to house a film studio.

Mr Cowan said: "I'm pleased that the land at Spango Valley is now owned by a local organisation and I've already reached out to them to see if I can be of any help.

"I have previously opposed the idea of a housing development and I've not changed my views on that. "I'd hope that their plans will lead to creating new jobs in the area.

"Many ventures have been mooted and we don't lack imagination locally. "We need to marry that up with the cold hard realities of business and then hopefully the valley can be brought back to life."

Spango Valley has also been touted as a location for a replacement for Morton's ageing home ground, although Ton chairman Crawford Rae denied such a move in an interview with the Tele in May this year.

The Easdale brothers, who are heavily involved with the Sinclair Street club and were recently linked with a takeover bid, have been busy during 2018 snapping up plots of land and commercial properties across Inverclyde, including the Cappielow Trade Park next to the stadium for just over £3m seven months ago.

They followed that up in June by purchasing the former Misco warehouse just off Cartsburn Roundabout for £1m.

More recently, Blairs Windows, which the Easdales are also involved in, announced a £1m investment at its Baker Street factory creating up to 20 new jobs, while McGill's has placed a £5m order for a fleet of 26 low-emission buses due for delivery in spring 2019.

The family's vast business empire also includes Inverclyde Taxis, Arc Fleet Services and local pubs such as the Old Wherry Tavern and Monteith's in Gourock.

The Easdales also have a large property portfolio featuring the likes of the Victory Court office block in Greenock, currently occupied by the procurator fiscal service, and Holt Court next door, where Webhelp is based.

Arranglen, the investment company owned by Sandy and James, and its subsidiary firms has a turnover of close to £100m.