READING Golf Club (RGC) has revealed plans to merge with another club following long-running talks about moving away from Emmer Green.

Talks with Caversham Heath Golf Club have developed and contracts are in the process of being finalised.

Leaders at RGC said moving away represented a great opportunity and was 'in the best possible interest of the golf club and its members.'

Employees and members of both clubs have all been made aware of the merger plan and the aim is for RGC to assume operational control and management of Caversham Heath Golf Club from the start of April.

Colin Reed, chairman, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Mapledurham Estate to achieve our goal of having a high-quality golf facility and a long-term sustainable future for RGC.”

The club intends to move to Caversham Heath and provide a course within a suitable distance for existing members.

It is also hoped the facility will be used all-year round, with plans in place to make 'substantial investments' at the current course.

Changes will be made to make the existing course more suitable for less experienced players.

Plans to sell the Emmer Green site for housing had been talked about extensively and members were even rumoured to be in for a substantial payout if the move went ahead.

John Ross, from Caversham Heath, added: "This is a great move for both clubs.

"It is very exciting that they are going to invest in upgrading what will be a new club, although no decision has been made about the name as yet.

"The future is looking very bright. We want to have a prestigious venue attached to Reading and the wider areas.

"The amount of investment going into the club will be significant enough to do what needs to be done to take the club to the next level."

RGC announced plans towards the end of last year to proceed with the relocation project, using Fairfax as a partner.

Normal golf operations are expected to continue at both sites through to late 2020.