HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition to turn a Southampton club into a world heritage centre

The campaign has gathered nearly 500 signatures, was started by university student Tom McLean, from Highfield, and is asking for support to turn Jesters into a protected landmark with the same status as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal or Stone Henge.

As previously reported, owners Lynda and Peter Green – who bought Chatty’s wine bar in 1987 before buying up more units which eventually became Jesters – have put the club up for sale, valued at £1.6million.

Now fans are hoping to get the popular student “palace of dreams” the status they feel it deserves.

Tom, 20, a ship science student at the University of Southampton, said: “Jesters has been a significant cultural site for many years for students in Southampton.

“I believe it is eligible for world heritage status as it is a historically unique building which signifies a remarkable accomplishment of humanity and serves as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet.

“If granted, Jesters will be protected under international law, including the Geneva Convention. This is the only long-term solution to protect Jesters.”

He added: “I’m just a big fan. I usually go on average once a week. It’s the vibe – there are loads of good people.

“And it’s cheap. And I will be contacting our local MP Alan Whitehead to see if he’s willing to support his constituents in our efforts.”

Writing on the petition website supporter Simon Webb said: “It’s an iconic part of the city, loved by millions and known the world over. This should be protected to help generations to come enjoy the unique atmosphere.”

The campaign has gained the support of celebrity DJ Chris Stark who played there during his time as a student in Southampton.

On social media he voiced his concern at the sale of the club saying: “Please say Jesters in Southampton isn’t being sold off?!? I thought this day would never happen. What’s going on?!?”

Owner Peter Green said: “I think it’s a bit tongue in cheek. My sons just aren’t interested in taking it on unfortunately. But there’s no reason the students couldn’t club together and buy it.”

City culture chief councillor Satvir Kaur added: “Southampton is known for many things so why not a world heritage site as well? I spent many a student day there and it’s really done a lot for the city’s student population and music scene. I wish them the best of luck for their campaign.”