Village halls and community centres across Oxfordshire are to benefit from a £55,000 cash boost.

Oxfordshire County Council's decision-making cabinet has agreed to refurbish and develop 14 community venues across the county.

Rural facilities in Upton, Wootton and Dry Sandford, and Wroxton are due the largest slice of the cash - totalling nearly £27,000.

But Old Marston Village Hall, known as Mortimer Hall, on the outskirts of Oxford, is also celebrating after securing £2,500.

Chairman Wally Cox said the money would kickstart a major refurbishment of the hall.

He said: "We are delighted. We need to put in toilets for the disabled, and the only place we can do that is in our store cupboard, which is totally full. So we need new storage."

The cash will pay for two walk-in cupboards and four storage units.

Future plans - estimated at £80,000 - include installing new toilets, renovating the hall's roof and floor, and installing a new kitchen, which is currently "unfit for purpose".

But Mr Cox said: "Before we can do any other work we have got to get the storage sorted out - that's the key."

Holton Village Hall, near Wheatley, is set to receive £5,000 to expand the size of the hall by 20 per cent.

Parish council chairman Anthony Yeates said: "It's very gratifying our grant has been successful.

"The hall is vitally important to the community.

"It's our only shared resource because we haven't got a pub or post office."

County councillor Jim Couchman, cabinet member for social and community services, said the investment countered the loss of post offices and telephone boxes, which had hit many rural communities.

He said: "It's good we are able to help.

"Village halls and community centres help bring people together and create a cohesive community spirit - we are glad to be able to offer some financial assistance."

The winners

Appleton with Eaton: Fire alarm installation - £1,950

Finstock: Repairs to floor and roof - £380

Old Marston: Removal of stage to create new space for toilets - £2,500

Shiplake: Installation of fire alarm and emergency lighting - £2,800

Steeple Aston: Replacement of hall flooring - £2,800

Chinnor: Extension and refurbishment of hall - £5,000

Holton: Extension - £5,000

Kingston Blount: Refurbishment of toilets - £1,400

Mollington: Refurbishment of kitchen - £2,500

Shenington: Refurbishment of kitchen - £3,180

Tadmarton: Cover for disabled access to building - £1,000

Upton: Extension of hall - £8,750

Wootton & Dry Sandford - redevelopment of existing facilities - £9,000

Wroxton: Refurbishment of existing facilities - £9,000