Local authorities across England are being invited to bid for £6 million of funding to tackle air pollution in their communities.
The latest round of Air Quality Grants will help councils to continue to develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities through improvements in air quality.
Funding will be prioritised towards projects that tackle particulate matter, improve public awareness of the impacts of air pollution and help local authorities to bring down levels of nitrogen oxide (NO2) and other pollutants to below legal limits.
Since 2010, more than £53 million has been awarded to more than 500 projects through the scheme, with previously funded projects including awareness programmes for schoolchildren, e-cargo bike libraries and upskilling health workers on air quality issues.
According to Defra, air quality in the UK has “significantly improved” in recent decades, with levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) – the most harmful pollutant to human health – falling by 10% and NO2 by 45% since 2010.
The government aims to drive this down further and has set two legally binding targets to reduce PM2.5 levels by 2040 through the Environment Act.
Environment Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to human health and local authorities play a vital role in tackling it.
“This latest round of funding will support innovative projects across England that give communities the tools to limit their exposure and reduce pollution.
“Together, this will build on the significant improvements in air quality delivered by the government at a national level and deliver cleaner air for all.”
The application window closes on 29th September 2023.