A top Oxfordshire hotel is to be given a £3.5m refurbishment after being taken over by new owners.

The Oxford Belfry, near Milton Common, has undergone a major review since its parent company the Marston Group was taken over by Q Hotels last November and now new general manager Cormac O'Hara is putting the plans into action.

The lobby and reception area will be redesigned to make it larger, followed by work on the bar, lounge, restaurant and leisure facilities.

That will be followed by refurbishment of the hotel's 17 meeting rooms, the 130 older bedrooms out of the 154 available, and the kitchen and staff accommodation. Work will start in October.

Mr O'Hara said: "We will be building a new staff accommodation block because recruitment is difficult and because of our location, it helps to stay on site.

"Our aim is to make the Belfry one of the best hotels in the region."

The hotel, which boasts some of the largest conference facilities in Oxfordshire, now has 120 staff, including 15 new recruits, six of whom have taken on key positions in a new management structure.

Q Hotels added 12 hotels to its portfolio when it bought the Marston Group and now owns 22 four-star properties. Q's team now includes Vivien Sirotkin as director of operations. She was formerly general manager of the city's Randolph and the Oxford hotels as well as being vice- chairman of the Tourism Committee, chairman of the founding committee for tourism group Destination Oxford and an associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University.