THE READING Chronicle is campaigning to Save Reading Gaol!

The historic town landmark is under threat, with fears it could be sold to the highest bidder.

Over the coming months we will highlight different articles and views in relation to the campaign in a bid to raise awareness and support.

Amid The Chronicle's ongoing coverage of the latest updates in the campaign to save the Reading Gaol, Reading Borough Council has confirmed its intention to potentially put in a bid for the site itself.

The prison is due to go on the market, and the council have put forward the possibility of buying the prison.

READ MORE: Reading Gaol: £1.6m has been spent to maintain vacant building

Tony Page, Reading's lead cllr for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: "The council has always emphasised the historical and cultural value of the vacant Reading Gaol site, particularly in the context of re-opening the Grade I listed Reading Abbey Ruins last year.

"The Abbey is a major focal point for the town which we are very proud of.

"We strongly believe that the Reading Gaol site - sitting next to the Abbey and on a site of national significance - offers huge potential for heritage-led regeneration.

"The Ministry of Justice has now indicated to the council it intends to finally market the site for sale.

"It is only right that the council considers all options for realising Reading Gaol's potential, including the possibility of bidding for the site ourselves."

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Theatre and Arts Reading Group (TAR) are hoping to transform the prison into an arts hub, which the council had supported previously.

TAR is continuing to prepare its own bid for the site but will support the council if it did decide to bid.

Tony Page added: "We continue to recognise the excellent work of TAR and welcome its vision for the development of a new theatre on the site.

"We intend to continue active discussions with TAR, while considering every option on the table.

"Both the council and TAR maintain the future of the Gaol site is key to the long-term success of the Abbey Quarter and to the town’s cultural offer and reputation."