What Defra funding sources can Local Authorities access to support their air quality work?


The Joint Air Quality Unit (Defra and DfT) launched the Air Quality Grant 2016-17 on October 6 2016 with an application deadline of noon November 23 2016. The purpose of the Grant is to provide support to local authorities in England to develop and/or implement measures to improve local air quality. The Grant will award at least £3m of funding to English local authorities where Defra’s national air quality assessment, as reported to the EU Commission, identified and/or projected an exceedance[1][2]; and/or that have one or more Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). AQMAs must have been declared on or before the March 31 2016. To apply for the Grant local authorities should contact Defra at matthew.bird@defra.gsi.gov.uk to get set up on the application portal.

As air quality in the UK is a devolved matter, Defra is responsible for the policy on air quality in England, and EU and international policy for the UK. The administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are therefore responsible for most policy and legislative matters affecting the environment in their own countries and funding for local authorities in the devolved administrations is available on this basis.

Local authorities are also encouraged to explore funding possibilities under other Government grant schemes as advertised on gov.uk.

[1] Defra (2015) Improving Air Quality in the UK: Tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486636/aq-plan-2015-overview-document.pdf

[2] Defra (2016) Air Pollution in the UK. [Online] Available from: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/annualreport/viewonline?year=2015_issue_1

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