500 jobs to be created following £5m investment in Alnwick headquartered home builder Cussins

Alnwick-headquartered home builder Cussins seeks to build 300 houses a year for the next four years

Peter Cussins, executive chairman of North East housebuilder Cussins, left, with his son and chief executive of the business, Jabin Cussins
Peter Cussins, executive chairman of North East housebuilder Cussins, left, with his son and chief executive of the business, Jabin Cussins

An estimated 500 jobs will be created as North East housebuilder Cussins progresses with expansion plans on the back of a £5m investment.

The money, secured from BGF (Business Growth Fund) will support the acquisition of land and the development of up to 300 new houses per year throughout the next four years.

As part of the investment, Cussins has also secured a £7m debt facility from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Chief executive of the Alnwick-headquartered firm, Jabin Cussins, said: “A number of factors in the market have combined to make this an opportune time to grow the business.

“The investment from BGF alongside a larger bank facility from Lloyds provides us with the ability to significantly expand our development programme.

“As a family-run business, it was important that we found the right investor to partner with, and BGF’s long-term investment approach, focused on growth, was an ideal fit for us.”

It is thought that around 90-95% of the job opportunities will be in construction, with the remainder being office-based.

Already, Cussins has around dozen sites in the pipeline, spanning from Alnwick in the North down to North Yorkshire and approaching Cumbria to the west.

Mr Cussins and his father Peter - executive chairman of the firm - will remain majority shareholders.

To support business growth, meanwhile, Mike Stansfield, the former chief executive of David Wilson Homes, has been appointed non-executive chairman. Richard Taylor, investment director at BGF, will also join the board.

Mr Taylor said: “Peter and Jabin have a proven track record in the sector, a reputation for building outstanding homes and strong relationships with local landowners who are keen to make sure that the houses built on their land are a good fit with the local area.

“With BGF investment, the business is well placed for growth to take advantage of the improved market dynamics in the sector.”

Over three generations, the Cussins family has built more than 50,000 houses across the region.

Established in 2001, the current company enjoyed strong trading until the recession, when it began to focus on two core sites each year.

Starting work on the 73-home Limes development in Alnwick last March, management saw a turnaround in the market as more quality land became available.

The firm, which currently employs 35 people, is on track to report turnover of £7.8m this year. By 2016, it expects that figure to have grown to £50m.

Richard McEvoy, relationship director for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Cussins is already an established name in the North East that has continued to grow in what is a highly competitive sector, demonstrating the ability of its management team to successfully spot and utilise prime development opportunities.

“This investment will enable the company to secure new development opportunities as and when they appear for the coming years, securing jobs and helping Cussins to realise its growth plans.”

Head of corporate at Square One Law, Jeremy Swift, who acted for Cussins in the £5m BGF investment, said both the company and the North East housing sector had been given a “huge vote of confidence” through the BGF investment, while Shawn Bone of advisers Cavu Corporate Finance said: “I’m delighted Cavu Corporate Finance has led and structured the deal on behalf of Cussins and we look foward to helping further clients raise growth capital in 2015.”

BGF is an independent company established to help growing businesses with a turnover between £5m-£100m.

Cussins is the third North East firm it has backed, following a £7.5m investment in J&B Recycling and an £8m for Wear Inns.

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