MAJOR improvements planned for a historic manor farm in Witney have been boosted thanks to a cash injection.

West Oxfordshire District Council's cabinet awarded a £50,000 community facilities grant to Cogges Manor Farm on Wednesday to form part of its £1.3m 'next steps' development programme led by the Cogges Heritage Trust.

Plans to improve the side include telling the story of its ancient heritage and creating an education area to expand opportunities for schools, adult learning and community groups.

Councillor Jeanette Baker, cabinet member for leisure and health at the council, said: “We are fortunate to have a heritage centre such as Cogges Manor Farm in our district.

"It is unique and plays an important part in our local history and in our lives today.

“I am delighted we are supporting this very worthwhile project and hope that Cogges Heritage Trust is successful in securing all the funds needed for these exciting developments that will benefit so many people.”

Other plans include improving the cafe and entrance buildings and installing new toilets.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has already offered a grant of more than £900,000 for the programme, subject to the trust raising a further £425,000 in grants and donations.

Judy Niner, chairwoman of the trustees, said: “We are hugely grateful to the council for this generous grant and for the support shown to the trust since we reopened the site in 2011.

"The 'next steps' development programme will take place over the next two years and make Cogges better for everyone.”

The board of trustees is made up of people offering a broad range of skills.

Two of the board members are representatives of Oxfordshire County Council, which continues to own the site.

The community facilities grant provides financial support for community-led capital projects for the improvement or enhancement of existing facilities and the purchase of new facilities and equipment.

Cogges Manor Farm appears in the Domesday Book.

The 13th century manor house and 17th century farm buildings are Grade II* and Grade II listed respectively.