£11.6m boost for local authorities to tackle air pollution

Local authorities have been granted more than £11m to fund projects for clean air, including e-bike schemes, school awareness programmes and bus retrofits.

The funding from the government’s Air Quality Grant will help councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities and reduce the impact of air pollution on people’s health.

More than double the funding awarded in 2021 has been made available for this year’s grant.

The fund includes over £1m of investment in projects that will deliver measures to improve public awareness of air pollution in local communities, following a recommendation in the Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths report after the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013.

Today’s announcement means more than £42 million has been awarded through the Air Quality Grant since 2010 across almost 500 projects.

woman in black long sleeve shirt holding white face mask

Agri-innovation and Climate Adaptation Minister Jo Churchill said: ‘Air pollution is the single biggest environmental risk to public health. It has reduced significantly since 2010, but we know there is more to do, which is why we have doubled the amount of funding awarded this year to help local authorities take vital action.

‘The projects supported by this latest round of funding include innovative local schemes to boost the use of green transport, increase monitoring of fine particulate matter – the most harmful pollutant to human health – and improve awareness of the risks of poor air quality around schools and in care homes.

‘Local authorities are best placed to find solutions to the issues they face in their areas, and we will continue to work closely with them and offer support to help deliver real change in cleaning up our air.’

Proposals which have won funding include projects and campaigns to:

  • Encourage the uptake of green transport including e-bikes through improved cycling and scooter infrastructure and retrofit projects
  • Promote efficient driving practices that will reduce pollution, such as turning your engine off rather than idling
  • Enhance educational programmes for schoolchildren
  • Introduce air quality measures in and around care homes

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison added: ‘Active travel and the switch to zero emission transport plays a huge role in improving air quality and we’re committed to creating cleaner, faster and more efficient ways of getting from A to B.

‘As we accelerate towards our net zero targets, funding announced today will help make our lives healthier by reducing our carbon footprint and supporting economic growth right across the country.’

Photo by Kelly Sikkema


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