Last reviewed 3 September 2020

The government has announced further funding to help local authorities to improve air quality.

Under the scheme local councils can bid for a portion of £2 million to support a wide range of projects to improve air quality in their areas.

The funding is the latest instalment under the Air Quality Grant scheme which has so far awarded around £64.5 million to a variety of projects to reduce pollution around schools, businesses and local communities.

Defra has said that projects focusing on particulate matter (PM2.5) will be particularly welcomed.  Announcing the package, environment minister Rebecca Pow said local authorities are “in the best position” to reduce emissions in their areas.

“Air pollution, and in particular PM2.5, carries enormous risks to human health which is why we are continuing to provide funding to local authorities to help them take action. This is part of delivering on the ambition in our world-leading Clean Air Strategy to halve the harm to human health from air pollution by 2030,” she said.

Fine particulate matter, (PM2.5) is a major source of respiratory health problems, which Defra describes as the ‘greatest risk’ to public health. Reducing public and. Reducing public exposure to PM2.5 particulates is one of the government’s four priority areas set out in the Environment Bill.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “From schools, to local businesses and households, it’s vital that we support a diverse range of projects to create cleaner, greener and healthier places to live.”

Defra said the grant application process is competitive and the best projects will be expected to develop long-term solutions to increase awareness and encourage behaviour change. Local councils in England will have until 14 October to apply for funding through the scheme.

Further details on how to apply are available on the Air Quality Grants GOV.UK page.