Duke of Northumberland in top 10 of North East’s richest

Ralph, Duke of Northumberland
Ralph, Duke of Northumberland

The Duke of Northumberland is the sixth richest man in the North East, with a wealth of £350million.

According to the 2015 Sunday Times Rich List for 2015, the Duke’s fortune increased by £10million over the last year. It puts him at 287 nationally, the same position he held last year.

Businessman Duncan Davidson, founder of Persimmon, one of the UK’s largest housebuilding businesses, who lives near Wooler, and family are at 14 in the North East list, up one place from last year.

The family wealth is put at £149million, down £6million from 2014.

The 128-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain.

Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, tops the North East list.

Although he remains the richest person in the region, Ashley is also its biggest financial loser over the past 12 months. While the football business made a £19million profit, Ashley, whose fortune derives primarily from the Sports Direct sporting goods empire, has seen his fortune drop by £250million.

The 50-year-old has a 55 per cent stake in the business. Sports Direct is now valued at £3.7billion, down from £4.7billion a year ago.

Ellis Short, the owner of Sunderland AFC, is the region’s other billionaire. His £1billion fortune has remained the same in the past 12 months.

The family which owns the Fenwick department store business, headed by Mark Fenwick, has seen its wealth rise by £150million in the past year.

The other big gainers are brothers Alastair and Michael Powell, whose wealth has soared by £52million in the past year off the back of a strong performance by their Cleveland Cable business, based in Middlesbrough.

The only new entry to the North East Rich List is Alex Lamb and family. Lamb chairs the Tyneside-headquartered business, British Engines, which makes technology for the oil and gas, chemical, marine, construction and agriculture industries. The family’s stake in the £170million business is worth £125million.

The North East top 20 is: 1 Mike Ashley; 2 Ellis Short; 3 Mark Fenwick and family; 4 Alastair and Michael Powell; 5 Jonathan Ruffer; 6 Duke of Northumberland; 7 Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour and family; 8 Duncan Bannatyne; 9 Graham Wylie; 10 Sting; 11 joint Stuart Monk and family; 11 joint Sir Peter Vardy and family; 13 Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan; 14 Duncan Davidson and family; 15 joint Steve Gibson; 15 joint Philip Noble and family; 17 joint Phil Cronin and family; 17 joint Alex Lamb and family; 19 John Reece and family; 20 William Rankin and family.

The 2015 Sunday Times Rich List is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access.