THE man spearheading a movement to get a dilapidated community hall in Burnt Oak reopened says he is “overwhelmed” with the response so far.

Bill Reeves, 63, is leading residents in Dryfield Road in efforts to get the abandoned and badly damaged Watling Boys Club reopened as a community facility.

Last week the story was featured exclusively in the Times Series and Hendon MP Matthew Offord asked David Cameron a question about it at Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament.

Mr Reeves said: “It's just so overwhelming, everything is moving so quickly it's great. I had 30 or 40 people call me up after Matthew went on TV and the article was in the paper.

“It really is overwhelming, but we need to keep the pressure up on the council to hand over the site. We've almost got a steering committee in place amongst the residents so things are coming on.”

He also praised Mr Offord, who has been in touch with DIY giants B&Q and secured a pledge for materials for the development.

He added: “That really means a lot as we will be able to get the place fitted out professionally. We already have a number of building firms who have promised to help so it's no amateur job.

“This would mean a lot to this community so I just hope we're allowed to open it up again for the long term.”

Last week Barnet Council confirmed the club site had been for sale since 2008 and said there were a number of “interested parties”.

However, Mr Offord said he had been in contact with the council officers in charge of it and confirmed there were currently no offers in for the land, paving the way for a potential community takeover.

He said: “What I would like to see is this building being turned back into the hands of the public. “The council has asked for a business plan from the community, but this building should not be allowed to go to waste when there is a genuine need for it.”