Banksy’s £10m offer to buy Reading prison will be a boost to the town’s bid for city status, its MP said.

The street artist wants to turn HMP Reading into an arts hub and is willing to sell the stencil he used to graffiti its outer wall to do so.

Reading East MP Matt Rodda said Banksy’s ‘staggering generosity’ changes everything for the future of the jail and is what the town needs as it tries to become a city for the fourth time.

“I’m very excited by it all and I think Banksy’s a deeply impressive person to be doing this,” said Mr Rodda.

Read more: Council reacts to Banksy bid for Reading prison 

“I’m staggered by his generosity I think Banksy’s been a wonderful philanthropist who potentially could change the local history of Reading quite significantly and make a big difference to our community.”

The MP continued: “It would boost Reading’s status around the county and at a time when the town is going for city status this is exactly the kind of project we need to show that we’re an important place in the UK and around the world.”

Reading Borough Council voted across party lines in favour of an 11-point proposal to become a city as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

The council has submitted bids to become a city in 2000, 2002 and 2012, but Mr Rodda said saving Reading Gaol could aid the town’s most recent bid.

“I think it would be incredible for the people of Reading and the surrounding area because it would mean that we would have an absolute world-class arts facility in town, something that would offer all sorts of opportunities to people to take part in the arts, watch performances or go to art exhibitions which we would otherwise have to go to London or Oxford for."

Read more: Mystery high profile donors could pledge millions to help save Gaol

He said he will be challenging the Ministry of Justice, who own the prison, to take a “serious look” at what Banksy is offering.

“They want to get the maximum possible price for the jail. The problem we’ve got is that the commercial developers have got more money. Banksy’s intervention potentially changes all of that, which is amazing.”

The MP said: “I hope the MOJ will now see that this is an offer they won’t be able to refuse and that it will mean the jail will be saved and turned into an arts hub rather than becoming luxury flats.”