WMCA awarded £1 million to improve air quality across the West Midlands - The Solihull Observer

WMCA awarded £1 million to improve air quality across the West Midlands

Solihull Editorial 2nd Mar, 2023   0

THE West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has been awarded almost £1million in funding to tackle air pollution in the region.

It is estimated microscopic particulates that can cause illnesses like asthma, coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, are responsible for 1,400 premature deaths every year.

Unlike emissions from vehicles, which are reducing, awareness of particulates is low and it is projected that levels will remain flat without positive action to reduce them.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, accompanied the Secretary of State for Environment, Thérèse Coffey, on a tour of the University of Birmingham’s Air Quality Research Supersite to see the work already taking place to clean up the region’s air.

The WMCA is a project partner in the University’s WM-Air project, which uses data produced by the Supersite to inform local air quality policies. WM-Air will be involved in the DEFRA-funded project through supporting the particulate monitoring.

The Mayor said: “Significant action is already underway here in the West Midlands to improve the quality of the air we breathe. It was great to showcase our expertise and depth of commitment to the Secretary of State and it’s fantastic to see this recognised with £1 million of funding.

“As we seek to tackle the climate emergency and address health inequalities right across our region, Government will continue to be a vital partner on this in the months and years ahead.”

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “We have made great strides in tackling air pollution nationally since 2010 but we must go further.

“The £1 million for the West Midlands through our Air Quality Grants scheme will directly support the monitoring of harmful emissions – and is one of the many innovative projects across the country receiving a share of almost £11 million this year.

Coun Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio holder for energy and environment, and leader of Solihull Council, said: “Air pollution remains one of the top environmental risks to human health in the UK.

“It’s a real boost to the region’s future health and prosperity to receive this £1m funding boost from Government.”

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