Thanks to the Defra Air Quality Grant, Lancaster City Council has been granted almost £200,000 to help tackle air pollution.
This funding will allow the council to help improve awareness about the risks of air pollution and the use of using solid fuel appliances, as well as helping to increase their monitoring of air pollution.
Solid fuels such as wood and coal are burnt to produce energy, and the impact of the smoke is cause for concern for the council due to how deep the emissions can penetrate into the lungs, which is problem, especially for those with existing health issues and serious long-term illnesses.
Councillor Dave Brookes, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said:
“The city council is committed to improving the health of our residents and visitors by improving the quality of the air that they breathe. Sadly, research is showing that solid fuel appliances such as wood burners are a major cause of poor-quality air, both outside and inside the homes where they are used.
This new funding from Defra will allow the council to collect local real-world data from hot spots in the district and from inside people’s homes. We will use this data to run a targeted education campaign, helping people make changes to reduce their exposure and reduce polluting emissions.”
The popularity of solid fuel appliances has increased highly in recent years and is continuing to grow, especially thanks to rising gas and electricity bills.
In order to monitor the effects of the emissions, the council will work with locals who have these kinds of appliances so they can assess the wider impacts. This will work alongside the building of a network of air quality sensors. The data produced will then be used to inform behaviour change and increase awareness, with the goal of improving people’s health and reducing air pollution.