Cussins continues a long tradition of quality house-building, established by our distinctive Cussins marque in 1922. The first Cussins home was built by Philip Cussins, Peter Cussins’ father, when he was just 16 years old. A pair of semi detached homes in Gosforth still in existence and as popular and stylish today as they were when they were first built. Philip Cussins went on to establish a national house-building and contracting business which lasted until the early 70’s when ill health forced him to retire and sell the business. As with subsequent generations, Philip was innovative and committed to build quality and architectural excellence.
Amongst his achievements was the building of the first purpose built apartment building in the North East, Moor Court in Gosforth which was a huge success as was the first high rise apartment building, Montagu Court also in Gosforth.
Another important contribution to the nations built environment was the Cussins Steel Framed House. Designed by Philip with an engineer of ships anchors, these homes were intended to be a temporary solution to the post-war housing shortage and could be fully constructed and ready to move into in only 7 days. Six thousand of these homes were built nationwide and most are still in existence today, far outliving their intended lifespan.
After a short period in the City, Peter Cussins returned to the North East to begin his career as a house-builder. In 1972 he founded Lemmington Estates with his father as a director and many of the old Cussins team back amongst the ranks. Construction of his first development began with the Grosvenor Park development in South Shields, like his fathers’ first development this was hugely popular and remains so to this day. By 1981 Lemmington had evolved into Cussins Property Group and was floated on the London stock market.
Cussins Property Group continued the family ethos of quality and innovation that Philip had started, with unique house designs including the Gemini, a one bedroom affordable house for first time buyers and Greystoke Park which was and is still one of the premier addresses in the Northeast, a fact demonstrated by the six Newcastle United players that bought homes there.
Cussins Property Group expanded nationwide and its commercial division took on projects which included large shopping centres in London, as well as offices in Edinburgh. This was in addition to their local developments at the BBC headquarters in Fenham, the Denmark Centre in South Shields and the Derwent Shopping Centre in Consett, all aided by a travelling army of loyal Cussins construction workers.
Like his father, Peter Cussins has always had a strong sense of social responsibility, this is displayed by the numerous charities he founded whilst chairman of Cussins Property Group, his policy of maintaining continuous employment for site staff and also by his dedication to regeneration within the North East.
Regeneration projects such as the Royal Quays project in Meadowell, Market Dock in South Shields and Dunston Riverside were seen as very risky ideas when they were first conceived. In every case however the projects proved an unrivalled success, with areas formerly seen as run-down receiving a new lease of life which continues to the present day and has attracted significant further investment.
By the late 90s city attitudes to smaller property firms had changed and although Cussins Property Group remained profitable, it’s share price was undervalued. Britain’s biggest privately owned house-builder Miller Homes bid for Cussins in 1999 and the board accepted, with shareholders interests taking priority over sentiment. By this point Cussins Property Group had built circa 15,000 homes with the North East since its inception in 1972.
In 2000 Peter Cussins founded PIC Homes Ltd which was renamed Cussins Ltd in 2003, accompanied on the board by former Cussins Property Group directors Jim & John Anderson and his son Jabin who had returned from London where he had been working as a land-buyer.
Cussins’ maiden developments were Whalton Park near Morpeth, a grade 2 listed conversion of a former school near Morpeth and Sunningdale in Greenside; a development of 15 family homes. Two very different projects, united by their popularity and build and design quality.
Since 2000 Cussins Ltd has built circa 300 homes and has re-established itself as the buyers’ choice of new-home within the North East. Schemes like Amytis Gardens in South Shields, Turner Square in Morpeth and Fencer Hill Square continue the Cussins ethos of innovation and quality, whilst our in-house construction team, many of whom have come from Cussins Property Group, continue to ensure that Cussins’ reputation for build quality is maintained.
The history of Cussins built homes spans three generations, the working lives of hundreds of loyal and hard-working men and women, and, most significantly, many thousands of happy home-owners.
Today we continue to try above all else to ensure that as often as possible, Cussins homeowners smile as they walk through their front door, content that they have a top quality home, that they have paid a fair price for it and that they have been looked after well by our long serving employees.