A spokesperson for Banksy appeared to express frustration at silence from the Ministry of Justice over the future of Reading prison.

The street artist offered £10m to back a council bid which would preserve the building as an arts hub, rather than hand it over to private developers.

Despite questions from the Chronicle, a Reading MP and Banksy, the MoJ has offered no reassurance to the people of Reading.

“Like everyone else we’re awaiting a response from the MoJ. Even an acknowledgement they received our letters would be nice,” said a spokesperson for Banksy.

Read more: How a cancelled train led to Banksy's Reading prison stunt - and a £10m pledge to buy it

Banksy came to the aid of Reading Borough Council earlier this month after their £2.6m bid for the Grade II listed building was rejected in May.

The council left their offer on the table and with another £10m injected by the artist, who previously painted on the outer wall of the grounds, the campaign to Save the Gaol was reignited.

MoJ spokespeople responded “the deadline for bids has passed,” but Reading Borough Council’s initial proposal was made before that date.

The Reading Chronicle pressed the Ministry further, asking how it would approach the council’s bid, submitted before the deadline, in conjunction with Banksy’s support, announced after the deadline.

Read more: 'What a coup': Readers react to Banksy’s shock £10m bid for Reading Gaol 

We asked whether the MoJ sets the deadline for bids, whether it could extend it in light of recent updates, and if not, why not.

Our reporter requested to know who was in charge of making the final decision and when a decision would be made.

A Prison Service spokesperson replied: “The deadline for bids has passed and we are currently considering the ones we received.”

The future of the jail, disused since 2013, remains uncertain, as do campaigners wishing to preserve it.

Save Reading Gaol campaigner Linda Saul said she did not feel optimistic.

“At the end of the day, they’ve always said they wanted to get the maximum value for the taxpayer, which they seem to regard as being money up front.

"This offer from Banksy offers them as much money as they’re going to get from anyone but also gives the campaigners what they want.

“I think they’ve got to show the will to find a solution.”

The sentiment was echoed by Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation Karen Rowland.

“We are very grateful for Banksy’s offer. The MoJ has, I believe, the ability to make something happen. I believe out local MPs have the ability to speak to them about that,” she said.

Cllr Rowland continued: “I think that there are ways of looking at the council bid where possibly the Banksy bid could be taken into consideration along with that.”

She added: “The possibilities lie with the MoJ and our MPs to make it happen.”