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New management for farm museum

25 November 08 21:15 GMT

A working Victorian agricultural museum in Oxfordshire is to be handed over to a new trust which will oversee its management.

Cogges Manor Farm Museum in Witney has been losing £250,000 a year and it was feared it might be forced to close.

But councillors have now agreed to hand it over to the Cogges Community Enterprise Group to run from 2010.

The county council will discuss whether it can support the new organisation with grants for the first two years.

The facility, built around an old farmhouse, currently offers "living history" lessons to schoolchildren.

New 'vision'

The county council said that the enterprise group came up with "the best future vision for the facility".

Councillor Jim Couchman said: "There is no easy solution to the future of Cogges.

"Neither of the commercial company proposals has offered something which we think is really viable without significant investment.

"We have been very inspired by the vision of the community enterprise group and would like to progress that - but with a trust which has executive powers to hire staff and manage the site."

He added: "That new trust will then work with the community enterprise group to develop and implement their vision."

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