Welsh government unveils £500,000 fund for projects to reduce air and noise pollution in urban areas.
Councils across Wales are being given access to a £500,000 grant scheme to fund projects to reduce air and noise pollution and develop ‘tranquil’ green spaces.
The scheme was unveiled by the Welsh government’s environment minister John Griffiths last week, who said he hoped the fund would improve some of the country’s deprived areas.
Speaking at the Environment Matters? Conference in Cardiff last Monday (May 14) Mr Griffiths said: “I am delighted to announce a new £500,000 grant scheme this week. Local authorities across Wales will be able to bid for a share of the money for projects to reduce air and noise pollution and develop tranquil green spaces.
“This follows our recent consultation on protecting existing quiet areas, and the policy guidance I issued earlier this year requiring local authorities to address air quality and traffic noise in an integrated fashion. The new initiative will complement existing grant schemes so that together they provide a more complete framework for supporting communities in greatest need.â€?
Urban areas in Wrexham, Holyhead, Swansea and Cardiff will take part in the programme’s test phase which will commence shortly.
Under the scheme, government funded development officers will meet with local community groups to discuss how they would like to see their neighbourhoods improved. It is hoped that the scheme will deliver a range of benefits including skills development, jobs and volunteering opportunities.
Mr Griffiths added: “In urban areas where most of our populations live, the environmental disadvantages for the poor are particularly acute. Communities there face poorer environments – noisier, more trafficked areas, reduced air quality and not to mention more environmental crimes like litter and fly tipping.
“I want to enable communities to create better, safer local environments and build on it to get wider benefits and so enhance their well being.â€?