Cogges Manor Farm reopens after two-year closure

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A historical visitor attraction in Oxfordshire has reopened after the county council handed the keys over to a charitable trust.

Cogges Manor Farm, near Witney, closed in August 2009 because it was making an annual loss of £250,000.

The new trust plans to cut costs by relying on volunteers.

Chair of the trustees, Judy Niner, said: "We see this as a community enterprise and we want local people to get involved with it."

The first manor house at Cogges was built in the 13th Century by Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York.

'Exciting events'

The buildings were altered through the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries to accommodate evolving farming practices and then in 1974 it was opened to the public as a farm museum.

The reopened Cogges will feature a market where local traders can sell their produce.

Ms Niner said that the trust wanted to go further and work with entrepreneurs who would like to use the Cogges brand.

She said: "Over the next two to three years we have to build different revenue streams in a number of areas.

"We would like to encourage local businesses who think they could work with us to come forward.

Oxfordshire County Councillor, Judith Heathcoat, said: "The trust has a number of exciting events planned over the coming weeks and months and I would encourage people to visit Cogges Manor Farm to see and enjoy what is on offer."

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