Five Northamptonshire entrepreneurs named wealthiest in the region...including one new billionaire

Leon Max, named one of the wealthiest in the region, at his facilities at Easton Neston
Leon Max, named one of the wealthiest in the region, at his facilities at Easton Neston
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Five entrepreneurs with Northamptonshire links have been named among the 20 wealthiest in the east of England, with one recently achieving billionaire status.

The Sunday Times Wealth League, published this morning, ranks David Ross, of the David Ross Education Trust, as fifth on the list with a value of £1 billion, having expanded his wealth by £108 million in the last year. This puts him at 108th place in the UK.

The David Ross Education Trust runs 20 primary and secondary academies across the country, many of which are in Northamptonshire and include Briar Hill Primary and Malcolm Arnold in Northampton, Welton CE near Daventry and Greenfields Primary in Kettering.

Number eight on the list is David Wilson and family, founders of David Wilson Homes and Davidsons Homes, which have been involved in major building projects in the county. With a value of £515 million, the family are ranked 213th wealthiest in the country.

At number 12, and joint with Mel Morris, is Russian-American fashion designer Leon Max, whose clothing brand Max Studio is based in Towcester. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Northampton and his fashion empire has sustained a wealth of £400 million, putting him in 262nd place nationally.

Last on the list at number 20 is former Conservative politician Lord Michael Heseltine and his family, of Thenford in South Northamptonshire. The Haymarket Publishing Group chairman owns a 1,200-acre farm near Banbury and was named the county’s richest man in 2008.

Although his regional position in the league has fallen by three positions since last year, his wealth has increased by £2 million, giving him a total of £280 million and ranking his family at 357 in the country.

The full 2015 Sunday Times Rich List will be published on Sunday, April 26, in a 128-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine. First appearing in 1989, it charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK and the 250 richest in Ireland.

It will be available online at www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/richlist.