The team behind the futuristic air ship, Airlander, has been awarded a multi-million pound Government grant to ensure it returns to flight.
Hybrid Air Vehicles, based in the Cardington Sheds, received the boost from the Regional Growth Fund, designed to create economic growth and lasting employment.
A HAV spokesman said the funding will immediately unlock investment and will lead to commercial agreements with customers who will contue funding of the business through trials in 2016.
This will ultimately create hundreds of jobs in a market estimated to be worth more than£35 billion in the next 20 years.
HAV CEO Stephen McGlennan said: “We are delighted to have received RGF funding. The commitment of the UK Government to our business is vital, and this will ensure we fly our innovative Airlander aircraft and enter the commercial market.
“We know the demand for Airlanders is enormous, and we relish creating exports and further jobs as we lead the field globally.”
The news comes after HAV also won the Smart Product Award in the South East Regional final of the EEF/Aldermore Future Manufacturing Awards.