LEISURE facilities are set to get a major overhaul after two district councils set aside millions of pounds.

Both Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils have committed vital funds for community projects and new leisure centres.

People in Wantage and Grove will be reaping the benefits of a brand new leisure centre after Vale councillors agreed to set aside £18.8m for it over the next four years at their budget meeting on Wednesday.

A further £1.3m was secured for a replacement of Abbey Meadows outdoor swimming pool in Abingdon and £200,000 in grants will be available to support community projects including improvements to village halls and new sports areas.

The council also decided to set aside £150,000 for the delivery of part two of the local plan, with £50,000 of it being used on feasibility studies on transport schemes and new housing.

But the improvements come at a cost – Vale residents will be seeing a 4.3 per cent rise in their council tax.

From April a band D household will pay £121.69 a year, an increase of £5.

Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Matthew Barber said the council tax hike was necessary as it continued to receive less funding from central government.

He added: "The Vale remains one of the cheapest and most efficient council tax areas in the country.

"Our 2017/18 budget focuses on supporting communities across the district, including delivering new and improved leisure facilities.

"The new leisure centre between Wantage and Grove is a vital facility for local residents, while funding for the Abbey Meadow pool will ensure people can enjoy outdoor swimming for many years to come."

Following a trial last year, the council will continue to spend £80,000 a year to carry out a deep clean of the district and will pay £25,000 a year for the next three years to cut grass verges in the district.

On Thursday night South Oxfordshire district councillors met to discuss their budget for 2017/18 and decided to freeze council tax for the second year running.

By freezing council tax residents in a band D property will continue to pay £111.24.

Cash was also set aside for car parking, accommodation for rough sleepers and to support the regeneration of Berinsfield.

More than £1m in grants is being made available to support community projects and a further £500,000 will be invested over two years to deliver superfast broadband for more communities in the district.

Cabinet member for finance for the district council Jane Murphy said: "I am very pleased that despite tough budget conditions we are able to continue to offer over a million pounds to help community projects in our towns and villages.

"We’re also launching the new local lottery and working to increase volunteering in order to provide extra support."