£3 million boost for innovative local air quality improvements

Picture of a cloudy sky

Picture of a cloudy sky

More than £3 million of government funding has been awarded to 28 innovative projects to improve air quality across local authorities in England.

The money, from the government’s Air Quality Grant, supports schemes which help councils develop and implement measures to benefit local communities.

Proposals receiving funding include campaigns promoting greater awareness of pollution from domestic burning to encourage people to make more environmentally-friendly choices; a project to promote electric charging points for canal boats; and a collaboration with local businesses to develop low or zero-emissions freight. This year funding has also been awarded to trial new technology to test the effectiveness of low-cost sensors to better understand the air quality data they produce.

Over £57 million has been awarded through the Air Quality Grant since it was launched in 1997.

Environment Minister, Thérèse Coffey said:

While we know air pollution has reduced significantly in recent decades, it is still the top environmental risk to health in the UK. Today’s funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting the local momentum needed to continue to improve our air now and for future generations.

Local authorities are best placed to introduce systems that work best for their areas, which is why we are working closely with them to ensure they have the appropriate funding and support.

Transport Minister, Jesse Norman said:

It is very important that we continue to improve the quality of our air, and the Government is working hard to deliver the emissions reductions the UK needs.

Local schemes are an essential part of this process. The £57 million we’ve awarded under the Air Quality Grant will go to make communities greener and more vibrant places to live.

The Air Quality Grant sits alongside the government’s £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions, and the Clean Air Strategy which was published earlier this year and sets out action to tackle air pollution from a range of sources.

The government continues to work closely with 61 English local authorities and has placed legal duties on them – underpinned by £495 million in funding – to tackle their nitrogen dioxide problems. By the end of this year, all local authorities will have carried out studies and, where appropriate, developed or be developing bespoke plans tailored to the nature of the nitrogen dioxide issue in their own area.

Local Authorities

Local AuthorityProjectAmount
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough CouncilIntroduction of ECO Stars training to public and private sector targeting “grey fleets”.£52,000.00
Cambridge City CouncilResearch and engagement campaign to promote better domestic burning methods and choices and increase compliance with Clean Air Act requirements.£9,890.00
Cambridge City CouncilUse of road closure to test low cost sensors and compare zero traffic data with road in use.£73,375.00
City of York CouncilBus retrofits.£240,000.00
Colchester Borough CouncilEngagement and awareness project throughout the transport network to promote air quality awareness and transport choices in schools.£249,100.00
Eastleigh Borough CouncilTesting of 50 sensors and 2 real time AQ monitoring stations to collect traffic and domestic combustion air quality data.£58,750.00
Gedling Borough CouncilContinuation of ECO stars project and creation of Gedling ECO Stars taxi recognition scheme.£55,000.00
Harrogate Borough CouncilTesting of mobile Zephyr Sensors against existing high cost sensors.£16,000.00
Herefordshire CouncilTesting of Zephyr sensors against existing sensors.£34,287.00
Hertsmere Borough CouncilCleaner Air 4 Hertsmere Schools awareness project to influence travel behaviour.£37,500.00
Horsham District CouncilCollaboration of 13 authorities in Sussex (Adur, Arun, Brighton and Hove, Chichester, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings, Horsham, Lewes, Mid Sussex, Rother, Wealden and Worthing) to raise awareness about domestic burning and campaign to promote better burning methods and choices.£32,716.00
Islington London Borough CouncilRegents Canal engagement project to promote electric charging points for canal boats, encourage uptake cleaner sources of fuel, and reduce idling.£50,000.00
Islington London Borough CouncilNO2 indoor study in school to test sensor performance and efficiency of filter systems.£20,000.00
Leicester City CouncilDevelopment of an air quality mapping tool to measure near real time air quality data and inform the public through an app.£241,675.00
London Borough of HackneyExpansion of the Zero Emissions Network to the whole borough; new engagement on improving knowledge and behaviour around domestic burning.£178,950.00
London Borough of LewishamComparison of low costs sensors with existing network including development of a sensor best practice database.£95,450.00
Oxford City CouncilCity-wide communications programme to support achievement of zero-emissions delivery freight.£122,500.00
Oxford City CouncilTesting of low cost Zephyr sensor packages to compare with current sensors and improve data.£128,500.00
Sefton Metropolitan Borough CouncilResearch and engagement campaign to raise awareness around the issues of domestic burning and campaign to promote better methods and choices.£100,000.00
Shropshire CouncilTesting of low cost Zephyr monitors; development of an air pollution map.£53,300.00
Slough Borough CouncilTesting of Vaisla sensors around schools to monitor AQ and use data to promote behaviour change.£99,125.00
South Buckinghamshire District CouncilTesting of Vaisla sensors and Alphasense Electric diffusion tubes at Heathrow Airport.£124,399.00
South Tyneside CouncilResearch, engagement and measures targeted at reducing vehicle NO2.£314,000.00
St Edmundsbury Borough CouncilMoving a pedestrian crossing to improve traffic flow in the location of an air pollution hotspot and a research project to understand behaviours and limits that affect air quality in the area.£101,280.00
Wakefield Metropolitan District CouncilExtension to ECO Stars scheme to small and medium size enterprises on 4 industrial estates.£27,131.27
Wakefield Metropolitan District CouncilTesting of 4 types of low cost sensors against current sensors.£61,604.33
Westminster City CouncilTraining of 50 technical officers to investigate air quality complaints and promote public health benefits of compliance Clean Air Act requirements.£9,000.00
Westminster City Council (Cross River Partnership)Expansion on Clean Air Village 1 project – engagement and behavioural change project to reduce emissions from the delivery of goods and services to London Borough of Lewisham, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.£418,343.00

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