THE FUTURE of Reading Golf Club (RGC) is set to be decided by its shareholders, with a major deal waiting in the wings if they agree to move to a new home.

Plans to sell the land to housing developers have been in the pipeline for many months and a preferred candidate is prepared to transform the area.

While some members are likely to be unhappy with moving away from Emmer Green, they could be set for a substantial payout as part of any deal.

The identity of the developer has been kept secret due to commercial sensitivity and shareholders now have until August 12 to make a decision.

Colin Reed, chairman of RGC, said: "We stated previously that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we still believe that to be the case.

"The board believes that the relocation opportunity that exists is in the best possible interest of the golf club and its members.

"While we appreciate any relocation would lead to some existing members choosing not to follow the club, every effort would be made to ensure the spirit of RGC lives on."

If the shareholders agree to the move the deal can be arranged, which would see members leave the existing site on Kidmore End Road.

However, if the proposal is rejected, the board will meet to decide the immediate future of the club.

The suggested move has received the approval of Sport England and England Golf and a move to an alternative site would be fully funded by the developer offer.

Mr Reed said moving away from the existing site was 'an emotive part' of the decision.

He added: "While we are unable yet to reveal the identity of that partner, we can confirm that they are a renowned company with a terrific reputation and track record in terms of quality and community.

"They are fully committed to addressing concerns regarding local infrastructure that will be required.

"We see the planned relationship as a mutually-beneficial partnership."