Fat Boy Worth £2.16bn

Last updated : 08 May 2017 By Footy Mad - Editor

THE significant wealth of some of the region’s most successful businessmen and women has been revealed in the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

Football club owners, landed gentry, singers and business owners grace the list, with the wealth of most either remaining unchanged or having grown in last 12-months.

Top of the money pile in the North-East and North Yorkshire is Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley who, despite experiencing a £270m decrease in assets, still has an estimated wealth of £2.16bn.

Image result for Newcastle 3 Barnsley 0However, the Sports Direct owner has enjoyed a successful season on the pitch with the Magpies securing automatic promotion from The Championship at the first time of asking.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short and Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson have seen their personal fortunes remain the same – £1.2bn and £195m respectively – while their clubs have struggled in the Premier League.

Fitness club and hotel owner Duncan Bannatyne has seen his fortune grow from £200m to £225m, which placed him eighth in the North-East table.

He said: “The Bannatyne Group has had a successful year with turnover, profits and dividends increasing.

"It is the result of focus on quality and smart investment.

"We employ more people too, so the benefits of the success are widespread.”

Philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer ranks sixth in the region this year with a fortune put at £406m, up £36m on last year. Mr Ruffer, who is currently converting Auckland Castle into a major tourist destination, has bankrolled the spectacular Kynren show, staged for the first time over 15 nights last summer with more than 1,000 local volunteers.

In North Yorkshire, Robert Miller, worth £1.58bn, is top of the list. The 83-year-old co-founded the Hong Kong-based Duty Free Shoppers (DFS) chain with Alan Parker in 1960, specialising in airport shops.

Born in America but also a British citizen, Mr Miller owns a home in London and the 36,000-acre Gunnerside Estate, North Yorkshire.

Paul Sykes, who lies in fifth place in the county with a personal fortune of £710m, was one of the men behind the development of the vast Meadowhall shopping centre outside Sheffield.

Other notable entries on the list include Terry Bramall and family, who boast a fortune of £425m, and Peter Wilkinson, who is valued at £385m.

Robert Watts, the compiler of the Rich List, said: “This year’s larger than ever Rich List lays bare how the fortunes of Britain’s richest 1,000 people have fared amid the astonishing events of the past 12 months.

“Our North-East list demonstrates how Britain’s super rich now come from all backgrounds. Mike Ashley once worked as a squash coach and Duncan Bannatyne in the Royal Navy – both now feature alongside the Duke of Northumberland as the region’s wealthiest people.

“While our Yorkshire list reinforces the county’s proud reputation for producing some of the UK’s most successful self-made men and women and shows the increasingly diverse ways fortunes are being made.

“It’s striking how we’re seeing fortunes from more unusual sectors.”