The money, £573,701, has come through the Government’s annual Air Quality Grant and will be spent on an electric conversion kit for a diesel bin lorry and the purchase of Blaby’s first electric road sweeper.

These will be used specifically in the five Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in the district, Enderby, Narborough, Whetstone and the M1 corridor in Leicester Forest East and Thorpe Astley.

All these areas feature major traffic routes and dense populations and while air pollutant levels do not exceed national guidelines they remain higher than the World Health Organisation advises.

The main emission concerns surround fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides and the Air Quality Grants seek to support Councils in their efforts to tackle these, as well as other emissions, creating a healthier environment for everyone.

In total the Government has handed out £10.7m to 44 local authorities across England for projects that will improve air quality and cut air pollution.

Cllr Terry Richardson, leader of Blaby District Council, said: ‘We are all acutely aware of the hazards posed by polluting emissions and the impact this can have on people’s health as well as the environment. Anything we can do to reduce that impact is important for our residents’ health and well-being.

‘We have also made a commitment to achieve net zero from district council operations by 2030 and this significant grant will certainly help us achieve that ambition.

‘This was one of the largest grants in this year’s round of funding and I would like to take the opportunity to thank our officers for their hard work and the quality of the submission.’

The council already uses HVO – hydrotreated vegetable oil – as a fuel source in the bulk of its bin lorries, a move which has slashed emissions. The Let’s Go Electric project is aimed at reducing levels even further.

Les Phillimore, portfolio holder for Housing, Community and Environmental Services, added: ‘We welcome this grant so we can further embrace greener, electric technology, start to modernise our fleet, continue to improve air quality and protect our communities and once again, demonstrate our commitment to carbon reduction. It’s a win all round.’

This latest grant funding means around £53m has been awarded across almost 500 projects through the Air Quality Grant scheme since 2010.