Ambitious plans for a new billion-dollar hospital in Vaughan are getting a major boost in the form of a $7 million provincial grant for work to begin on the design.

The grant for master planning being announced Friday is contingent on a joint administration agreement made between the Vaughan Health Campus of Care, the group advocating Vaughan’s hospital, and York Central Hospital, located just eight kilometres away, to create a restructured board.

That agreement was made to save money and avoid the duplication of services and staff as well as the spectre of two hospitals competing for staff, money and medical services.

The new plan, which has the blessing of the province, will see the creation of two campuses of care, an expanded one in Richmond Hill and a brand new campus on a 60-acre parcel of land north of Major Mackenzie Drive, for which Vaughan taxpayers have already forked out $60 million.

Under the agreement hammered out at the urging of Vaughan MPP Greg Sorbara, representation on the new hospital board will be based on population, which means Vaughan-based members will constitute 60 per cent of the restructured board.