CAMPAIGNERS, Save Reading Gaol, were at Reading Pride last weekend (August 31) raising awareness of their campaign to save the historic prison.

The group want to see the prison turned into an arts hub and set up a stall telling people about their plight whilst encouraging them to sign their petition.

Alongside this, they were selling their Save Reading Gaol t-shirts and telling people about the gaol "hug" taking place in October.

Four members also took part in the pride parade including Caversham councillor Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading Abbey ward councillor, Karen Rowland, and campaigners Terry Dixon and Linda Saul.

Group hug organiser and artist Linda Saul said: "I’m taken aback about how passionate people are about the Gaol becoming an asset for the community."

Organisers explained that Reading Pride was an appropriate location given that the prison is synonymous for Oscar Wilde's incarceration for homosexual offences.

The group is calling for the prison to be turned into an arts hub, including a world class theatre, as well as an art gallery, digital hub, maker space and museum.

The idea being that local people can meet for arts, crafts and cultural activities.

READ MORE: Reading Gaol could be a ‘world-class cultural hub’ with theatre company’s vision says culture minister.

Mr Dixon, who runs guided historic tours around Reading, explained it would be a "crying shame" for the prison not to be used as an arts hub, believing this would be the most effective option for the site.

He believes that "the prison has got another life in it" and "turning the gaol into an arts hub would not only benefit the gaol itself but everything around it" including Forbury Gardens and the Abbey Ruins.

Reading East MP, Matt Rodda, has been heading the campaign to save the gaol.

He announced last month that the campaign had reached over 5000 signatures since its launch in May this year.

Mr Rodda has been campaigning across Reading, visiting Caversham residents on Thursday (August 29).

He tweeted: "Over 5,000 people have now signed, it's time for the Government to rethink and listen to #rdguk arts and the council and turn the Gaol into an arts hub."

To sign the petition, click here.