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North East house builder receives £5m investment from BGF

BGF News 12.17.2014

Cussins, a house builder based in the North East has received a £5m investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund). The money will be used to support the acquisition of land and the development of up to 300 new houses per year over the next four years, generating 500 jobs.

Peter Cussins, executive chairman, and his son Jabin, chief executive, will remain majority shareholders in the Alnwick-headquartered business. For almost a century, three generations of the Cussins family have built more than 50,000 houses in landmark developments across the North East. Most recently, the business has been working on The Limes development, which features 73 individually designed homes overlooking Alnwick Castle.

After a prolonged period of housing shortage in the North East, the Government’s revised planning framework is helping Cussins take advantage of an increased availability of high quality land in prime locations. With a strong emphasis on housing design that complements local surroundings, the business focuses on smaller developments of between 10 and 70 homes, where there is a high level of demand from buyers.

To support business growth, Cussins has appointed Mike Stansfield, former chief executive of David Wilson Homes, as non-executive chairman. Stansfield was introduced to Peter and Jabin Cussins by BGF. Richard Taylor, investment director at BGF, will also join the board. As part of the investment, the business has secured a £7m debt facility from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, whom it has banked with for over 40 years. The Lloyds Bank team was led by Richard McEvoy.

Cussins is the third North East business backed by BGF, following a £7.5m investment in J&B Recycling earlier this year and an £8m investment in Wear Inns in 2012.

Jabin Cussins, chief executive, 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.”

Richard Taylor, investment director, BGF 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”

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.”