A £10MILLION plan to turn Musselburgh Old Course into “an international must-visit golfing venue” has attracted interest from a Chinese investor.

Edinburgh-based Blue Thistle Ltd is currently in talks with East Lothian Council in a bid to make the course – the oldest continously-played golf course in the world – “great again”.

Robin McGregor, the company’s chief executive officer and former club secretary at the course, declined to give details about the investor at the present time but revealed that he was “a highly respected individual within the worldwide business community”.

He said: “All parties have agreed to purchase shares on the terms and conditions laid out in the shareholders agreement. All parties are aware of their obligations and commitments under it.”

Mr McGregor added: “Golf in the Far East is an increasing business and is growing fast. This will open up that market.

“We have always said we want to turn the course into an international must-visit golfing venue.

“This is an opportunity to take Musselburgh into the Far East, which is a fantastic opportunity for the town, East Lothian and Scotland.”

In February, the Courier revealed the proposal by Blue Thistle Ltd, which would see the nine-hole, par-34 course “regenerated, restored and recreated to the style and reputation of its former glory”.

At that time, the plan failed to attract the support of Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club.

John Caldwell, who at that time was a Musselburgh councillor, also voiced his opposition.

Regarded as the world’s oldest golf course and the oldest on which play has been continuous, Musselburgh Links, The Old Course is on Common Good land, surrounded by Musselburgh Racecourse, and is managed by the enjoyleisure charitable trust on behalf of East Lothian Council.

Mr McGregor acquired private investment backing through binding shareholder agreements. Fellow director Dominique von Prondzynski’s father Heinz is the main investor behind the proposal after seeing the potential not just for the course but the local area.

Mr McGregor previously outlined proposals which would see £10 million spent over the next seven years to restore the course to its previous Open Championship condition and refurbish the accompanying facilities, with a plan to create 40 new jobs.

He said: “The Musselburgh Links course has an immensely important role in the history and development of the game Scotland gave to the world and it is our wish that it be recognised and returned to its former glory.”

Mr McGregor was unable to give a timescale regarding conclusion of talks with the council.

Ray Montgomery, the council’s head of infrastructure, said: “Representatives from Blue Thistle met with East Lothian Council regarding their proposed development of Musselburgh Links.

“This was at a very early stage and no negotiations have taken place. Musselburgh Old Course is Common Good land and as such is protected for the greater common good.”

Musselburgh Old Course hosted six Open Championships from 1874 to 1889. Documents prove that golf was played on Musselburgh Links as early as 1672, although Mary Queen of Scots reputedly played there in 1567.