Doncaster airship plant to create 1,200 jobs

The City of Doncaster Council and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd have agreed to locate the production programme for Airlander 10 — “the world’s most efficient large aircraft” —  at Carcroft Common.

Airlander 10 is a new type of ultra-low emissions aircraft capable of carrying 100 passengers or 10 tonnes of payload.

Hybrid Air Vehicles said the reserved orderbook for Airlander 10 stands in excess of £1 billion, with the first aircraft set to enter service from 2028 with the likes of Air Nostrum Group.

The firm said its plans for Doncaster will create over 1,200 high-value green jobs and new supply chains within the South Yorkshire Investment Zone.

Carcroft Common is a 50-hectare site identified by the City of Doncaster Council for development to unlock new economic growth. The freehold for the site will be acquired by Hybrid Air Vehicles under the terms of the agreement.

Hybrid Air Vehicles will now initiate activities leading towards a planning application, working with the local community and other stakeholders as part of the planning and preparation process.

Subject to planning approval, Hybrid Air Vehicles will develop new flagship facilities for Airlander 10’s production, testing, and certification operations, capable of producing up to 24 aircraft per year at the site.

It will house cutting-edge aerospace production equipment, such as new assembly lines for Airlander’s composite-based airframe, propulsion systems, and electrical and avionics systems.

In partnership with the City of Doncaster Council, Hybrid Air Vehicles will establish Carcroft Common as a hub for advanced manufacturing and sustainable aviation in South Yorkshire.

Hybrid Air Vehicles will also work closely with important partners including the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and the Doncaster UTC.

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “Doncaster already has strong clusters across various sectors such as rail, advanced manufacturing and engineering and I am delighted to soon be able to add this exciting new sector to our industries, to be based at the Carcroft Common Employment site.

“The City of Doncaster is at the forefront of embracing new technology to drive growth and this proposed Hybrid Air Vehicles site is not only part of our ambitious growth strategy but also our pioneering climate change ambitions, focussing on new green advanced manufacturing and sustainable industrial innovation.

‘The Heads of Terms agreed are the culmination of years’ worth of lobbying, planning and collaboration that I am incredibly pleased to see coming to fruition.

“Hybrid Air Vehicles in Doncaster is truly an exciting opportunity, bringing high skilled and well-paid jobs to Doncaster.”

Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, and Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for Carcroft and for Doncaster.

“This new production site will create over 1200 much needed highly skilled jobs to the area as well as bring green air travel a step closer.

“Doncaster Chamber, City of Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority have, over many years, worked hard to create an environment where advanced manufacturing businesses can thrive and this development is a very exciting opportunity for the region.”

Hybrid Air Vehicles CEO Tom Grundy said: “Airlander 10 will transform what’s possible for sustainable air travel, and Carcroft Common will deliver the flagship production centre we need to do that, creating over 1,200 jobs and a £1bn per annum export.

“Our vision to rethink clean flight has been met with robust support at every step of the way by City of Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire region.

“We look forward to working closely with the community as we launch our production programme and progress this extraordinary project.”