EIGHT Oxfordshire businesses are to get £3.6m of funding from the Government’s Growing Places Fund.

The fund is being made available to businesses to spend on buildings, refurbishment, new facilities and infrastructure projects.

Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), launched in 2011 to boost the local economy, is allocating the funding on behalf of the Government.

The partnership received 20 bids totalling £16m for the £3.6m pot of funding allocated by the Government to Oxfordshire.

LEP board member Ann Ducker, who is leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We have been able to offer valuable funding to local businesses at a time when it is extremely difficult for them to raise finance from the open market.

“The offers we have made will breathe life into a number of exciting projects that some businesses have had to put on hold, but which promise to boost to their growth and, importantly, to allow them to take on more staff.”

Companies being offered funding include MEPC, which runs Milton Park business park.

It plans to upgrade a road junction at the entrance to Milton Park to improve access for businesses and residents of neighbouring villages.

Money is also being offered to Harwell Oxford, which plans to improve cycle lanes at their campus site. The other six potential recipients, and the amounts, have not been revealed.

The majority of applications came from small to medium-sized companies with plans to expand their businesses.

The LEP is supporting a separate county council bid for £11.5m of Government pinch-point funding to create a hamburger roundabout at the Milton Interchange.