Doncaster giant airship plant to create 1,200 jobs

An airship maker has announced plans to build the giant vehicles in Doncaster, creating more than 1,200 jobs.

City of Doncaster Council and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd have reached an agreement for a major new Airlander 10 production centre at Carcroft Common site, for production, testing and certification operations.

  • Hybrid Air Vehicles’ plans for Doncaster will create a £1bn+ per annum export business, over 1,200 high-value green jobs and new supply chains within the South Yorkshire Investment Zone.
  • Announcement builds on a previous agreement with SYMCA, underpinned by a £7m investment by the region.

The City of Doncaster Council and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, the UK-based leader in sustainable aircraft technology, have agreed to locate the production programme for Airlander 10, the world’s most efficient large aircraft, at Carcroft Common.

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.

Airlander 10 is a new type of ultra-low emissions aircraft capable of carrying 100 passengers, or ten tonnes of payload. The reserved orderbook for Airlander 10 stands in excess of £1bn, with the first aircraft set to enter service from 2028 with the likes of Air Nostrum Group, the launch airline customer.

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, creating over 1,200 new jobs and thriving supply chains. Hybrid Air Vehicles will also work closely with important regional partners like the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and the Doncaster UTC.

The announcement marks important progress toward the City of Doncaster’s Economic Strategy 2030, and the success of the South Yorkshire Investment Zone, which is focused on advanced manufacturing. The Carcroft Common site is part of the Investment Zone, launched by the Chancellor of Exchequer in July 2023, which aims to improve investment through planning, development, and skills support.

In February 2024, the City of Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority published ambitious plans for South Yorkshire Airport City, re-opening Doncaster Sheffield Airport alongside a focus on new green advanced manufacturing and sustainable industrial innovation, including Hybrid Air Vehicles investment into Carcroft Common. The announcement of a production site builds on a previous agreement with the Mayor of Doncaster and the Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, in March 2023. Underpinned by a £7m investment by the region, this included a commitment to collaborate on skills and supply chain development.


Ros Jones CBE, Mayor of Doncaster 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, focusing 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.”

Oliver Coppard, Mayor of South Yorkshire, said: “I’m delighted to see Hybrid Air Vehicles moving forward with their plans; bringing their ambitious plans to life in Doncaster. I’m excited about those plans because their huge ambitions match my own. Following on from our significant commitment to developing South Yorkshire Airport City just last month, we are increasingly putting Doncaster at the cutting edge of sustainable aviation research and manufacturing.

“Hybrid Air Vehicles are an important part of that vision, and I look forward to working with them as they move through the planning process. When they do land here, Hybrid Air Vehicles will be part of something special. South Yorkshire is a place with not just a destination in mind but a plan to get there.

“Together we are building a bigger and better economy across all of South Yorkshire, and world leading sustainable aviation is a vital part of that plan."

Ed Miliband MP for Doncaster North, 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.”

Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd 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.”

Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said: “Hybrid Air Vehicles choosing to base its production of Airlander 10 in our region is a big moment for South Yorkshire and one to be proud of. This investment not only brings high-value jobs and new supply chain opportunities but it marks a strong signal of confidence in advanced manufacturing and the new South Yorkshire Investment Zone.

"The AMRC has worked closely with Hybrid Air Vehicles since 2021 on research linked to its Airlander 10 programme, bringing together our expertise on low emissions propulsion, large composite structures and supporting manufacturing technologies.

"To have Hybrid Air Vehicles putting its production footprint in South Yorkshire is a real boost to the region’s capability and reputation, helping to grow our green manufacturing cluster, and building on the research and development that is being led by the wider University of Sheffield into sustainable air travel, energy, and how we transition to a low carbon economy."

In other news...

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones has announced that a lease to take over the former Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has been signed. 

The 125-year lease will help to ensure the future of the airport site with an ambition to return planes to the skies from the city.  

The announcement follows over a year of detailed and complex negotiations with landowners the Peel Group. The lease agreement is the first stage in the process to reopen the airport. The next stage is the appointment of an airport operator to manage the operational airport.

South Yorkshire Investment Zone:

At the heart of the UK, South Yorkshire's Investment Zone is the best place to start, scale or relocate your business.

Building on the heritage and strength of manufacturing in this area, the South Yorkshire Investment Zone will be focused on Advanced Manufacturing and includes the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. It is expected to help leverage more than £1.2bn of private funding, create new skill and investment opportunities and help support more than 8,000 jobs by 2030.

People from Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley will see barriers to growth in their area, including challenges attracting finance and investment, supporting business growth and clear pathways to higher skilled jobs reduced.

To learn more about the South Yorkshire Investment Zone please click the button below:

Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering in Doncaster:

Doncaster has an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s most important centres of manufacturing excellence.

This reputation has been hard earned and we are proud that over 3,000 manufacturing and engineering companies, employing more than 14,000 people play a vital role in the local economy.

To learn more about advanced manufacturing and engineering in Doncaster please click the button below: