Duke remains the richest man in Northumberland

The Duke of Northumberland
The Duke of Northumberland

The Duke of Northumberland is the sixth richest man in the North East, with a wealth of £365million.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List for 2016, the Duke’s fortune increased by £15million over the last year. It puts him at 307 nationally, down 30 places last year.

Duncan Davidson

Duncan Davidson

Businessman Duncan Davidson, founder of Persimmon, one of the UK’s largest house-building businesses, who lives near Wooler, and his family are at 17 in the North East list, down three places from last year.

The family wealth is put at £148million, down £1million from 2015 and which translates to 712 in the national list.

The pair are the only ones from Northumberland to make the region’s top 20, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2016 – the definitive guide to wealth in Britain and Ireland – to be published this weekend.

Number one on the list, Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United Football Club, has seen his fortune fall by more than £1billion in one year.

However, the 51-year-old remains the richest man in the North East with a fortune of £2.43billion.

Shares at his Sports Direct business have almost halved in value since December, leaving Ashley’s stake worth £1.25billion. He started it with a £10,000 loan from his parents.

He has turned Newcastle United into a profitable club, although with the team fighting relegation from the Premier League, next season could present a different challenge.

In contrast, second-placed Ellis Short, the owner of Sunderland AFC, has seen his wealth grow by £200million in the past 12 months.

Through his London-based Kildare Partners private equity operation, 55-year-old Short raised nearly £1.4billion to invest in distressed property in 2014. Born in Missouri, the financier owns Skibo Castle in Scotland.

The Fenwick retail fortune continues to grow with Mark Fenwick and family now standing at £700million, up £50million on last year, in third position.

The company opened its first department store in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1882 with its flagship store in London’s Bond Street following nine years later.

The retail business made a £30million profit on £298million of sales in 2014-15 and with £576million of net assets, the business is worth £600million.