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GM Clean Air Zone: changes and support for SMEs

Much like the Clean Air Zones (CAZ) popping up in cities like Bath and Birmingham, Greater Manchester will introduce its own CAZ on 30th May 2022. A step in the right direction to reducing air pollution and regulating vehicle emissions impacting the climate, this will also be a big change for SMEs as we journey towards net zero. Let’s examine the changes, exemptions, innovations, and support for businesses in the leadup to the launch of GM’s Clean Air Zone.


Boundaries, Emissions Standard and Compliance

True to the name, the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone will be exactly that, a border around the outskirts of all our Local Authorities, meaning that whether you live in Manchester City Centre or the outskirts of Wigan, you will be in the zone.

From 30th May 2022, driving a non-compliant vehicle will cost you a daily tariff, on top of what you already pay to run your vehicle. This will include any non-compliant:

  • Buses
  • Coaches without a temporary exemption
  • Non-GM licensed Hackney cabs and private hire vehicles
  • Heavy Goods Vehicles (including some motorcaravans and horse transporters)

The compliancy of your vehicle is determined by the following standards:

  • Buses, coaches, HGVs (Euro VI)
  • Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, cars (Euro 6 diesel, Euro 4 petrol)
  • Motorcycles (Euro 3)

Note: Local Authorities may set a different standard for taxis and private hire vehicles, so check with your council for more information.

To avoid confusion, use this online checker on the government website to see if your vehicle is up to standard.


Some vehicles will be automatically exempt from the charge, both nationally and locally.

Exemptions include:

  • a vehicle that’s ultra-low emission
  • a disabled passenger tax class vehicle
  • a disabled tax class vehicle
  • a military vehicle
  • a historic vehicle
  • a vehicle retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
  • certain types of agricultural vehicles

Greater Manchester will also provide a temporary exemption for Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) until 31st May 2023.

You can read more about exemptions and discounts here.


Funding Support

Reducing emissions is a national priority, and there are many different types of grants, funding and support available to assist you in making the switch to energy efficient transport.

  • the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles offers a range of grants to help you choose cleaner vehicles
  • the Go Ultra Low Campaign has information about electric vehicles, including grants you can apply for
  • the Clean Air Fund provides support to individuals and businesses, for example local travel discounts, cycling to work schemes or vehicle upgrades – you can access it through your local authority

The financial support scheme will initially open for HGVs from 30th November 2021.

Your Local Authority may also provide additional grants and funding, so remember to check with them before you switch.

We’re going to see numerous changes and innovations in the eco space over the next few years, helping our region to become, greener, cleaner and healthier for all residents. While the changes to come may feel daunting for business owners, there is support available to help you get the knowledge, skills and technology to really capitalise on these innovations.

  • Ask your Skills Coach about Journey to Net Zero for assistance lowering emissions, reducing waste and working towards a climate friendly operational structure. Find out more.
  • Talk to GM Skills Map Officer Steven Green about fully funded Green and Retrofit Skills available on our GM Skills Map platform. Get in touch.
  • Read more about the CAZ at Take a look.
  • Visit Clean Air GM for an overview of the financial support scheme. Check it out.


For more information, call us today on 0161 237 4444.





The Growth Company is an award-winning, not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. We provide individuals and businesses with a wide range of services that improve employment, skills, investment and enterprise for the benefit of all, and have been working in the Greater Manchester city region for more than 30 years. 

This project receives funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.  

The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme.  

Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit 

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Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskill your employees and improve business productivity.