While a new hospital may be many years away, plans are moving forward to keep a hospital in Uxbridge. Provincial Health Minister Christine Elliot was in Uxbridge yesterday to announce a $500,000 detailed planning grant for the building of a new facility. The money will be used by Markham Stouffville Hospital as it draws up plans to replace the aging Uxbridge Cottage Hospital. The proposed plans call for a new facility to be built in sections on the existing site with expanded outpatient services, and the creation of a community health hub with long term care services. The Health Minister says there are no timelines for a rebuild, but says she would like to see it built sooner rather than later. The provincial commitment opens the door to further fundraising. About $8 million had been set aside in the past by the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Foundation, but further fundraising has been hampered because a new hospital has not been on the official agenda at the Health Ministry. Township of Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton, who was born at the hospital, says it is a big day for Uxbridge and surrounding communities.