Applications for this year’s £9 million Air Quality Grant scheme have just opened to local authorities across England, with an application deadline of Friday 8 October 2021.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) Air Quality Grant scheme helps local authorities develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities and reduce the impact of polluted air on people’s health.
At least £1 million of the £9 million available this year will be dedicated to projects to improve public awareness in local communities about the risks of air pollution, following a recommendation in the Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths report after the tragic death of Ella Kissi-Debrah in 2013.
These could include projects to inform people about the ways to reduce their exposure to emissions by avoiding pollution hotspots. Projects that deal with improving air quality, as well as improving knowledge about the health risks, are also strongly encouraged to apply.
Local authorities can also bid for a portion of the fund for a wide range of other projects to improve air quality and create cleaner and healthier environments. The criteria for this year’s grant period will prioritise three areas:
1. Projects which reduce air pollutant exceedances, especially in those areas that are projected to remain in exceedance of the UK’s legal targets;
2. Projects that will improve knowledge and information about air quality and steps individuals can take to reduce their exposure to air pollution; and
3. Projects that include measures to deal with particulate matter, which is the pollutant most harmful to human health.
Since it was established, the Air Quality Grant scheme has awarded almost £70 million to a variety of projects, including a digital education package to teach children and parents about the health impacts of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, the development of a community website to share air quality information and raise awareness with local residents and visitors, and a project to highlight the air quality issues that surround domestic burning.
For further information about the scheme and how to apply, visit the GOV.UK website.