Crest Nicholson

Crest Nicholson has been building new homes for over 50 years and is Britain’s most established leading developer. Their passion is not just for building homes, but also creating vibrant and sustainable communities.

Their mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals in these communities, both now and continuously into the future, by providing better homes, workplaces and other leisure spaces. People are always at the heart of everything that they do.

Crest Nicholson was founded in 1963 by Bryan Skinner, then called Crest Homes. One of the characteristics that differentiated Crest from most other housebuilders of the time was “not to hold large stocks of land”.

Crest’s first diversified in 1969 when they bought En-Tout-Cas, the leading company in tennis court construction. But a more significant development was the acquisition of Tony Pidgley’s earth moving business in 1971. Pidgley teamed up with Jim Farrer, a board member and the estate agent who had provided Bryan Skinner with his first piece of land. These two ran Crest’s housing department until 1975.

In 1972 Crest Securities was formed to facilitate the company’s aspiration for further diversification. At the end of that year Crest had bought Camper & Nicholsons, the world’s leading yacht manufacturers, leading them to change their name to Crest Nicholson. More unrelated acquisitions followed in the form of Lamson Engineering, the spectacle makers Crofton and Greenwood Electronics.

Bryan Skinner retired in 1983 and after this, the company went through another paradigm shift. The non-housing businesses were sold off in the late 1980s and in the housing division of Crest began to follow a policy of acquiring a long land bank. In 2007, Crest was made private after accepting a £715m offer from a consortium led by HBOS and Sir Tom Hunter. The company was re-listed on the London Stock Exchange in February 2013.

In 2015 Crest Nicholson was building over 2,700 homes a year, predominantly in the south of the UK. In 2017 the Group was able to deliver 2,935 new homes, up 2% on the prior year. 687 of those were classed as ‘affordable’ homes. First-time buyers also made up around one in three of their purchasers in 2015, with 37% of all purchasers used one of their Help to Buy schemes.

From the very first stages of creating a new development, Crest Nicholson carefully consider the vital components that are essential for creating unbeatable places to live that also add tremendous value to existing local communities. The plans always keep the end in mind, thinking well beyond the completion of the construction. Creating affordable ways for new communities to handle their shared facilities over long periods of time is vital for the sustainable development that they are so passionate about.

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