The Brum Breathes Fund aims to support projects across Birmingham that help improve air quality. These projects should help to raise awareness of the impact of poor air quality on our health.
The Brum Breathes Fund has been created with revenues from the Clean Air Zone. It provides single-member wards with £20,000 per year for the next two years (up to the end of March 2025) and two-member wards £40,000 per year over two years (up to the end of March 2025). In total, there is just over £4m of funding available up to the end of March 2025.
Criteria for applications
When you submit an application to the fund you will need to demonstrate how your proposal supports the following high-level priorities:
- improve air quality
- support active travel and public transport use
- and/or encourage a greater shift towards zero emissions travel or infrastructure
Who can apply?
The Brum Breathes Fund (BBF) will provide just over £4m through to the end of March 2025 to support schemes and projects across the city that help improve air quality.
Each ward in the city has been allocated £20,000 per annum (for single-member wards) or £40,000 per annum (for two-member wards) over the next two years (up to the end of March 2025).
Constituted, un-constituted, and grassroots community groups can apply to the fund to support activities that will enable their community to benefit from measures that aim to promote the benefits of cleaner air.
If you are applying as a ward councillor, please email email@example.com
Applications from community groups and councillors will be considered: between £1,000 and £20,000 (single-member wards) and £1,000 to £40,000 (two-member wards).
All funding must be committed by March 2025.
Small and new groups which are not constituted may apply under the umbrella of a constituted group that will act as a fund holder for the grant. All applications need a statement from a sponsor.
A sponsor could be one of the Neighbourhood Network Schemes, Early Help Voluntary Sector Leads or a local formally constituted community organisation.
The constituted organisation will be able to purchase items or services in a group, or on behalf of a collective. This means that groups do not need a bank account in order to apply for the fund.
Funding can be used to cover:
- capital costs
- new and existing projects
- one-off initiatives
Sign up to the mailing list to receive reminders, updates and inspiration on how to improve your community through the Brum Breathes Fund.
Projects supported by the scheme
To help inspire you, here are some of the schemes or projects that might be supported by the fund:
- cycle racks
- school traffic exclusion plans
- sustainable transport measures
- parking restrictions
- air quality monitors…and much more!
Your project must create some kind of tangible asset and should be self-sustaining. Funding is only available until the end of March 2025. If your project requires ongoing maintenance or support (even if occasional) you must demonstrate how you will provide that ongoing support.
Projects will need to show alignment with the high-level spending priorities set out in the Birmingham Clean Air Zone Charging Order:
- support the delivery of the ambitions of the scheme and promote cleaner air;
- support active travel and incentivising public transport use;
- support zero emission and sustainable infrastructure and actions in and around the city to improve air quality.
Birmingham City Council published its Clean Air Strategy in 2022. The strategy sets out a clear set of actions, priorities and pledges that will enable everyone in the city to be part of the journey to improving the air we all breathe.
All applications to the fund should be able to demonstrate how they support the following themes from the Birmingham’s Clean Air Strategy:
- Improve the fleet: Discouraging the most polluting vehicles (private and public) from our city will lead to an overall reduction in air pollution.
- Improve the flow: Smoother and faster journeys that help reduce congestion will help reduce emissions (this applies to active travel routes, public transport as well as private vehicles). Traffic congestion creates a bubble of air pollution with idling vehicles wasting fuel, wasting money and generating unnecessary carbon emissions.
- Reduce the volume: Fewer vehicles = less pollution. By moving from private car use to walking, cycling, public transport or working from home can all reduce the number of vehicles on the streets.
- Reduce sources and exposure: By reducing the sources of air pollution and our exposure to poor air quality, we reduce the likelihood of poor health and damage to the environment. We should limit the sources of air pollution and our exposure where we work, travel, live, play or study, especially for the most vulnerable.
- Empowering behaviour change: To encourage and support individual behaviour change to improve air quality by embedding into our culture (businesses, organisations, local communities, the council etc) the policies, guidance, and capability to be less polluting.
Projects must also align with the local Ward Action plan and have the support of the relevant local Ward Forum.
Talk to your local councillor and your community about your idea for improving air quality where you live sign up to the mailing list for further inspiration.
Projects not supported
Brum Breathes does not support:
- for profit businesses
- national programmes without a specific benefit to Birmingham
- projects that are based outside of Birmingham
- projects which have already taken place or items purchased prior to or during a grant application
- unspecified expenditure for general appeals or fund-raising events/activities
- requests to build reserves
- funding for Statutory obligations
- political activities