A PETITION set up to save Reading gaol has reached over 7,000 signatures, it has been revealed.

Reading East MP, Matt Rodda, started the petition in May this year and it has now reached a total of 7,165 signatures.

Reading gaol has been put on the market by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) who intend to sell the Grade-II listed building to the highest bidder.

READ MORE: Reading Gaol officially put up for sale.

The petition was created by Mr Rodda to preserve the site as an arts hub and to celebrate Reading's heritage.

He also wants to prevent it from being turned into luxury flats.

Mr Rodda said: "I'm delighted that 7,000 people have now signed the petition to save Reading Gaol, this is a really significant step forward.

"The Ministry of Justice needs to listen to local people and allow the gaol to be turned into an arts and community hub."

He explained there has been an increase in sign ups since the Reading gaol hug which took place last weekend (October 13).

The event saw hundreds and hundreds of people surround the prison, holding hands to form a huge "hug".

Speaking at the event, Mr Rodda said: “I’m so proud of our town and our people for doing this - I think it’s brilliant.”

If you would like to sign the petition to save Reading gaol, click here.