Defra withholds £6m of air quality funding


Around £6m in funding promised to local authorities to help tackle air pollution will be withheld, a government spokesperson has confirmed.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is also considering a redesign of the Local Air Quality Grants scheme.

Local authorities were informed two months ago that they had successfully bid for a share of the fund.

This is the first time that funding has been promised and later rescinded since the scheme began 27 years ago.

The Defra spokesperson said that air quality minister Robbie Moore had ‘used his discretion…not to fund the Local Air Quality Grant scheme for the 2023-24 financial year.’

They added: ‘We are considering whether the Local Air Quality Grants scheme could be redesigned to better deliver positive outcomes for local air quality and therefore greater value for money for taxpayers. More information will be set out in due course.’

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