Aerospace & Defence

Major Airlander 10 production centre to be located in Doncaster

27th March 2024
Paige West

The City of Doncaster Council and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd have reached an agreement to situate the production of Airlander 10 at Carcroft Common.

Spanning 50 hectares, Carcroft Common has been earmarked by the City of Doncaster Council as a site primed for development to spur economic growth. Hybrid Air Vehicles will acquire the freehold of this site under the agreement's terms.

Hybrid Air Vehicles is set to commence preparations for a planning application, engaging with the local community and other stakeholders throughout the planning and preparatory phases.

Pending planning consent, Hybrid Air Vehicles plans to erect state-of-the-art facilities for the manufacturing, testing, and certification of Airlander 10 at this location, with a capacity to produce up to 24 aircraft annually. This site will feature modern aerospace manufacturing equipment, including new assembly lines for Airlander's composite airframe, propulsion, and electrical and avionics systems.

Airlander 10 represents a novel class of aircraft with low emissions, designed to transport 100 passengers or a ten-tonne payload. The current order book for Airlander 10 exceeds £1bn, with the aircraft expected to commence operations in 2028, starting with Air Nostrum Group as the initial airline client.

In collaboration with the City of Doncaster Council, Hybrid Air Vehicles aims to transform Carcroft Common into a centre for advanced manufacturing and green aviation in South Yorkshire, generating more than 1,200 jobs and bolstering supply chains. The company will also engage with key regional entities, including the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Doncaster UTC.

This development is a significant step forward for the City of Doncaster’s Economic Strategy 2030 and the advancement of the South Yorkshire Investment Zone, which concentrates on advanced manufacturing. Carcroft Common is part of this Investment Zone, initiated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in July 2023 to enhance investment through support in planning, development, and skills.

In February 2024, the City of Doncaster Council and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority unveiled ambitious plans for the South Yorkshire Airport City, which include reactivating Doncaster Sheffield Airport and focusing on new eco-friendly advanced manufacturing and sustainable industrial innovation, underscored by Hybrid Air Vehicles' investment in Carcroft Common.

This announcement follows a prior agreement in March 2023 with the Mayor of Doncaster and the Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, which was supported by a £7m investment from the region, focusing on collaboration in skills and supply chain enhancement.

“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,” said Ros Jones CBE, Mayor of Doncaster.

“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,” said Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd.

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