Air Quality Grant programme

Successful local authorities will be awarded a share of £3.7m under this year’s Air Quality Grant scheme

Projects across the country will benefit from almost £3.7 million as part of an annual funding scheme to help combat air quality locally, it was announced today.

The Air Quality Grant programme has awarded more than £52 million to a variety of projects since it started in 1997 and helps local authorities tackle air quality in their areas to reduce the impact on people’s health and create cleaner and healthier environments.

This year’s Air Quality Grant programme for 2016/17 will focus on supporting schemes set up to tackle nitrogen dioxide levels, and include:

• £163,100 for electric vehicle charging and infrastructure improvements and an electric vehicle car club in East Herts
• £498,600 for a Clean Air Zone study by Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils
• £400,000 to support Nottingham trial fuel cell technology and encourage ultra-low emission vehicles in the local NHS

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said:

“Tackling poor air quality is a priority for the government and we are working closely with Local Authorities so they can play a crucial role in this.

“I was delighted at the broad range of ideas submitted, from using the latest technology to promoting cleaner taxis and increasing the uptake of electric vehicles, and these projects will help to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in our towns and cities, both now and in the future.”

Transport Minister John Hayes said:

“We are determined to cut emissions and improve air quality for communities across the country; as a father of two, I would want no less for any family than I’d want for my own. These grants will help councils take significant practical steps to clean up the air and to improve communal wellbeing in their area.

“This good work will sit alongside the government’s draft air quality plan which will be published in the spring.”

The government is firmly committed to improving the UK’s air quality and cutting harmful emissions and its air quality plan will go out to consultation later this year.

More than £2billion has already been committed since 2011 to increase the uptake of ultra-low emissions vehicles and support greener transport schemes and set out how it will improve air quality through a new programme of Clean Air Zones. In last year’s Autumn Statement, a further £290m was allocated to support electric vehicles, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels.