Published: 17/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5943 Page 12

Westminster Council has made a last-minute effort to rescue the Paddington health campus in a deal which could reduce the cost of the scheme by£60m.

The council is understood to have agreed to swap parcels of land it owns across the borough for the 3.2 acre hospital site, which will drive down development costs.

The Paddington project team will now submit a supplement to the outline business case that is currently under consideration by the Department of Health and the Treasury.

If the deal is given the go-ahead it will mean the council swapping land with Paddington Development Corporation Ltd.

Leader of Westminster City Council, councillor Simon Milton, said: 'We have supported for many years the idea of a Westminster hospital with international teaching excellence. Given previous failures, Westminster has stepped in to broker a number of land deals which will deliver excellent health facilities at a significant reduction in cost.'