History


A family run company with values focussed on the needs of clients, partners and the well-being of staff.

One day in 1960, a young building estimator told a friend and colleague, "I'm going to start up on my own in building." The response was immediate - "I'll come with you". The history of a visionary young man and his sons can be viewed on the timeline below.

You can read more on the early history of the company in "Contract to Build. The D.J Higgins Story".

1961

1961

Formation (as D J Higgins & Sons)

On 1st March 1961, the Higgins Group was founded. With three sons under the age of five, Mr. Derek Higgins OBE and his wife Olive bought a van and boldly set up DJ Higgins & Sons Limited. The first contract was worth £36. 10s. 0d and the first set of accounts showed that this company had turned over £9,705. 9s. 0d and made a profit of £58. 4s. 4d.

1962

First public sector scheme was for new guttering at Wanstead County High School (£59.00).

1965

1965

Throughout the second half of the 1960’s, D. J. Higgins & Sons increased the number and size of its jobs in the public sector - housing, schools and hospitals.

1966

1966

Elderly Persons’ Home, Canvey Island. Completed in 1966, it was then by far the largest job Higgins had undertaken and marked a quantum change in the scale of the business.

1970

In 1970 Higgins successfully tendered for its largest contract to date. This was to build the Cornelius Vermuyden Comprehensive School on Canvey Island for Essex County Council and was worth £320,000, a massive sum.

1974

An important year for Higgins with employment of our first Apprentice (Dave Dorrington – who is still with the company today) and Richard Higgins (now chairman) joins the company. Also we break the half Million mark with the £584,000 extension to King Harold Secondary School for Essex County Council which Richard Higgins worked on.

1976

1st £1m Project Princes Park Avenue

B-Nai Birth Housing Association Hostel + Apartments on Prices Park Avenue.

1977

1977

Queen Mother Laying Foundation Stone St Saviours Priory

In March 1977, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother laid the foundation stone of the new St Saviour’s priory, rebuilt by D. J. Higgins & Sons Limited.

1981

1981

Stephen Higgins and Martin Higgins both join the company. Richard Higgins becomes Director.

1982

1982

Derek Higgins OBE, George Eastwood, wives and colleagues celebrated the company's twenty-first birthday at the Savoy.

1983

George Eastwood retired.

1987

1987

D. J. Higgins & Sons Limited built itself a new headquarters Hawke House, Station Road, Loughton which remained HQ until 2005.

1988

1988

D. J. Higgins & Sons Limited won contracts to build and refurbish flats in Islington, Tooting, Chelmsford and Southwark.

Higgins apprentices beat their 1983 record by winning 15 prizes at the National Federation of Building Trades Employers Award.

1989

1989

The company became a Public Limited Company – Higgins Group PLC. The first directors were Derek Higgins OBE and Richard Higgins.

1990

1990

1st Sheltered Housing Scheme (Limewood Court, Ilford).

In September 1990, Lord Young, Alan Sugar, Derek Higgins OBE and Lord Sieff opened the Nathen Sugar and Rita Simons Special Care Wing at Vi & John Rubens House, Ilford, built by D. J. Higgins & Sons Limited.

Higgins started work on the Angel Town Estate where we would continue with regeneration until late 2000’s.

1991

1991

Following a report written by a director, ‘The Way Forward’, Higgins took on Design and Build housing projects for the first time and won:
- 1st Design and Build New Build – Cleaves Road, East London Housing Corp
- 1st Refurbishment Design and Build (Wharfedale Court) – LB Hackney

Higgins set up the 1st Estate Based Apprenticeship Scheme at the Angell Town Estate.

Higgins realised space in the market for a dedicated RLO instead of the work being carried out by a Site Manager and employed Teresa Twaio-Gormley, Gloucester Grove Estate.

1994

Establishment of a dedicated Design and Build Team.

1996

Dagenham (Heathland) - 1st of its kind, visually impaired project ran by Danny Barker.

1st Design and Build School, Kingsmead School.

1st Partner Regeneration Scheme (Pollards Hill Estate) - Largest partnered scheme in the country.

1998

1st CIOB Medal Winner (Danny Barker) for Heathland.

1999

1999

1st Community Development Manager.

Higgins worked with Hackney on their Alma House project which formed part of LB Hackney £300m Estate Regenerations Programme.

Higgins Starts work on a 5 year programme to transform Pollards Hill Estate in LB Merton. £35million, 700 refurbished homes and 190 new build homes.

2000

2000

1st Concrete Frame Project (Silwood Estate).

2001

Mr D J Higgins awarded OBE in the New Years Honours List.

2002

1st Timber Frame Building (Charlecote Road).

1st Design, Build and Maintain Contract (Southend Portfolio).

1st Achieved £100m turnover.

2004

2004

Derek Higgins OBE, founder of the Higgins Group passed away on 19th December.

Richard Higgins becomes Chairman.

1st Female Site Manager on Kender Estate, Lewisham.

Formation of a training partnership with community service volunteers (CSV) – 1st skills training centre opened called DJ Higgins centre, Islington.

1st Decent Homes (Kensington & Chelsea) - £12,000,000.

Higgins signed a 10 year partnership with West Ham in the Community (Sporting Link) to provide youth development.

2005

2005

Higgins won Building Magazines, Regeneration Contractor of the Year.

1st ‘Exemplar’ In house management trainee programme is established.

Completion of New Head Office at Langston Road.

Higgins start work on the 7 year land mark regeneration of the Market Estate and Caledonian Park, transforming a rundown estate into a place people want to live.

2006

1st Self Build (Angell Town Estate).

2007

We do the double at Building Magazine's Regeneration Awards and take home both:
- Regeneration Contractor of the Year
- Best Community Led Regeneration Project, Market Estate

1st PFI (Brockley PFI).

2008

As confirmation of the company’s long standing and ongoing commitments to the development of its employees Higgins was awarded the Investors In People Standard along with achieving ISO 14001 Accreditation.

1st RLO Winning TPAS Award.

First JV – Apple Tree Farm with Moat Housing Group.

2009

1st BREEAM Retrofit (Forest Gate).

1st Code 4 (Vale Street).

2010

2010

Partnership with Barnardos begins with 12 trainee placements in the year.

2011

1st Land Swap Deal (St Johns School).

Higgins Group turns 50.

2012

2012

We break ground at Oval Quarter for the delivery of 808 new homes, 172 refurbished homes, a community centre and a state of the art new park.

1st Bespoke Internal Management Development Programme.

Phil Safe our Health and Safety mascot was born.

Complete Streamlight our 1st 24 storey tower for private sale.

2013

2013

1st Complete new build Secondary School (Epping St Johns).

Higgins start work on their 1st Job in Brighton (193 Portland Road).

National Skills Academy – Higgins achieved full construction status.

2014

Shortlisted for Construction News Awards, Constructor of the year.

Launched our new Higgins Site Style Guide.

Delivering £190m turnover.

2015

2015

We break ground on our £100 Million Estate Regeneration of Clissold Quarter in partnership with Hackney Council. 

Higgins Construction becomes FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) Bronze accredited.

Oval Quarter won Best Regeneration Project at the Evening Standard Awards.

Higgins Homes won Best Developer Website – UK and International Winner at the UK Property Awards.

2016

2016

We break ground on our £60 Million Estate Regeneration of Omnium, in partnership with Hackney Council. 

Won Excellence in Construction Engagement at the Southern Region TPAS Awards.

Completed the regeneration of Oval Quarter, delivering 808 new homes, 172 refurbished homes, a community centre and a state of the art new park.

Start work on 201 new homes across three precincts of the Clapham Park Estate.

2017

2017

Started work at New Stratford Works to deliver 154 homes, commercial space and public open space. 

Established position on the HCA’s East and South East Delivery Partner Panel DPP3.

Started construction of 333 New Build homes at Wooddene Estate, Peckham.

Completed the construction of 351 new homes with retail, office and community spaces at Banbury Park, Walthamstow.


2018

Completion of 273 new homes and the external refurbishment to a further 101 homes in partnership at Clissold Quarter, Hackney.

Won two awards at the National Housing Awards:
- Best Regeneration project – Kings Crescent Estate (Clissold Quarter) 
- Best Large Development – Bow River Village

2019

2019

Re-launch our Management Trainee Programme – Building your Future.

We signed the Armed Forces Covenant last year and was awarded the Bronze Award in The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

Won National Award Team of the Year for Colville Estate (Omnium) at the TPAS Awards.

The Reserve won Best Out Of London Home at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards and Best Development and the What House Awards.

2020

2020

Higgins Construction changed their name and look, and rebranded to Higgins Partnerships.

Won Outstanding Tenant Engagement – Contractor for Wooddene Estate at the TPAS Awards.

New Stratford Works won Best First Time Buyer Apartment at the First Time Buyer Readers Awards.

Omnium won at the Housing Design Awards.

Central Chelmsford won Regeneration Scheme of the Year at The British Homes Awards.

After 46 years, Higgins first Apprentice Dave Dorrington retires.

2021

2021

Higgins Group turns 60.

William Higgins and Declan Higgins become Group Directors.

Launched our Volunteering Policy providing employees the opportunity to offer a helping hand on worthy projects in the community.

Won Most Inspiring Contractor at the Inspire Awards UK.

Awarded £21 Million contract to design and build new retirement community for Anchor Hanover in Uxbridge, West London.

Won two awards at the East of England regional finals for National Apprenticeship Awards:
- SME Employer of the Year
- Recruitment Excellence

Highly Commended in national finals for SME Employer of the Year National Apprenticeship Awards.

Best Apprenticeship Programme at Black Professionals in Construction Awards.

2022

2022

Completed the estate redevelopment of 93 new homes at King Square Estate Phase 2, Islington. 

Become a member of Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme.