Government grant of £99k to tackle air pollution in Wigan

More than £99,000 of funding has been secured to help improve air quality in Wigan.

The Government’s air quality grant helps councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities and reduce the impact of dirty air on people’s health.

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A tranche of £11m has recently been handed out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for projects across the country.

The project will raise awareness of the problem of air pollution

Among the local authorities to receive a grant is Wigan Council, which will get £99,094 for a schools and community education programme, along with an information campaign to target vulnerable groups.

Julie Middlehurst, the council’s assistant director for infrastructure and regulation, said: “Having clean air to breathe is incredibly important and we know that poor air quality is a major issue that is affecting the health of our residents right now.

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“As a council, we are committed to improving air quality and we are thrilled to have received this funding which will allow us to continue building on our existing work.

“This will enable us to appoint a new air quality education officer, who will develop an awareness and education campaign with residents and undertake surveys to help us understand public opinions on walking, cycling and using public transport in order to help shape our future work.”

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There will be an information campaign for the public, schools and healthcare settings to inform and educate about the sources of air pollution, how to reduce it and how people can protect themselves from the effects of pollution.

Agri-innovation and climate adaptation minister Jo Churchill said: “Air pollution is the single biggest environmental risk to public health. It has reduced significantly since 2010, but we know there is more to do, which is why we have doubled the amount of funding awarded this year to help local authorities take vital action.

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“The projects supported by this latest round of funding include innovative local schemes to boost the use of green transport, increase monitoring of fine particulate matter – the most harmful pollutant to human health – and improve awareness of the risks of poor air quality around schools and in care homes."

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