Boost for local air quality improvements
The money, from the government’s #Air Quality Grant, supports schemes which help councils develop and implement measures to benefit local communities.
Proposals receiving funding include campaigns promoting greater awareness of pollution from domestic burning to encourage people to make more environmentally friendly choices; a project to promote electric charging points for canal boats; and a collaboration with local businesses to develop low or zero emissions freight. This year funding has also been awarded to trial new technology to test the effectiveness of low cost sensors to better understand the air quality data they produce.
Over £57 million has been awarded through the Air Quality Grant since it was launched in 1997.
Environment minister, Thérèse Coffey, said: ‘While we know air #pollution has reduced significantly in recent decades, it is still the top environmental risk to health in the UK. Today’s funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting the local momentum needed to continue to improve our air now and for future generations.
‘Local authorities are best placed to introduce systems that work best for their areas, which is why we are working closely with them to ensure they have the appropriate funding and support.’
Transport minister Jesse Norman added, ‘It is very important that we continue to improve the quality of our air, and the government is working hard to deliver the emissions reductions the UK needs.
‘Local schemes are an essential part of this process. The £57 million we have awarded under the Air Quality Grant will go to make communities greener and more vibrant places to live.’
The Air Quality Grant sits alongside the government’s £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions, and the Clean Air Strategy which was published earlier this year and sets out action to tackle air pollution from a range of sources.
The government continues to work closely with 61 English local authorities and has placed legal duties on them – underpinned by £495 million in funding – to tackle their nitrogen dioxide problems. By the end of this year, all local authorities will have carried out studies and, where appropriate, developed or be developing bespoke plans tailored to the nature of the nitrogen dioxide issue in their own area.