A £2m package of air quality grants has been made by Defra to 36 local authorities in England which have demonstrated innovative measures to tackle air pollution.
In particular, funding will support the investigation of low emission zones and to help create guidance and tools for local authorities who want to reduce emissions. Money has also been given to authorities who want to develop the way they communicate air quality messages to their communities.
Environment minister Lord de Mauley commented: “Air quality has improved significantly in recent years; however, we need to keep striving to improve the air we breathe. This £2m air quality grant will help local communities take matters into their own hands. Without this money, many innovative projects would never see the light of day.
“In previous years, similar grants have been used very creatively to address air pollution. This is exactly the type of action that should be encouraged and I’m looking forward to reviewing the success of the projects this time next year.”
Emphasis has been placed on projects that could secure additional funding from other sources.
Authorities which receive funding will need to provide Defra with a progress report by the autumn so that the success of each project can be monitored.
The air quality grant programme has been running for 15 years and more than £50m has been awarded.
The criteria for the latest grant period was similar to last year’s in that it focused mainly on supporting projects that tackle nitrogen dioxide emissions.