The London borough of Tower Hamlets is offering up to £200,000 in funding to residents, schools, charities, housing associations and community groups to deliver projects to tackle air pollution.
Applications for grants opened from 1 June and will run until 30 July. With a further round due to open in November 2018 for two months.
Projects eligible for backing include those seeking to reduce exposure to or increase awareness of air pollution, and have ‘wider community impacts’ as well as being relevant to the borough’s Air Quality Action Plan.
The funding is part of the borough’s wider ‘Breathe Clean’ campaign, which includes work by the council, the NHS, Transport for London (TfL) and environmental charities to reduce pollution levels (see airqualitynews.com story).
According to the council, the campaign has so far helped to fund education programmes in schools to raise awareness about air pollution and its health impacts, and put in place anti-idling initiatives outside schools.
Residents have also been instructed in how to monitor air pollution in their neighbourhoods and 70 volunteers now measure pollution levels around the borough, the council says.
The authority also has plans to scale up the number of electric cars in the borough, and by 2025 it aims to have a charging point within 500 metres of every home by 2025.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Biggs said: “It is shocking that there is an air quality lottery in London. Residents from poorer boroughs are twice as likely to die from lung cancer and other lung diseases compared to people in London’s most well-off boroughs.
“We are working with the health services, Transport for London and our key partners to get people out of their cars and to help introduce cleaner forms of transport across the borough.
“I would urge residents to find out what they can do locally to protect children from the dangers of air pollution, and to think about projects that could benefit their neighbourhoods through this funding.â€?
Councillor Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, added: “We are committed to doing allow we can to improve air quality in Tower Hamlets.
“Air pollution that exceeds recommended levels negatively impacts on our residents’ health and our environment.
“This funding is a great opportunity for residents to get involved in developing projects that can make a real difference to their local community.â€?
Tower Hamlets Air Quality Fund