The North East Life Glitz List - who are the region's richest and most influential people?

PUBLISHED: 00:01 20 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:45 20 February 2013

The North East Life Glitz List - who are the region's richest and most influential people?

The North East Life Glitz List - who are the region's richest and most influential people?

A glimpse into the champagne lifestyles of some of the North East's richest and most influential people Words by Philip Beresford

Duncan Bannatyne
Darlington-based Bannatyne left school at 15 with no qualifications. After a spell in the navy, he bought an ice cream van in Middlesbrough. He later moved into property, nursing homes and a nursery chain, making 48m along the way from sale proceeds. He put 20m into the Bannatyne Fitness chain. But the rise in VAT and competition plunged the group into a 16.2m loss in 2011. We value clip Bannatyne back to 85m.

Philip Yuill and family
Hartlepool-based Yuill Group builds 350 luxury homes each year in the North East and is also involved in urban regeneration development work. Philip Yuill chaired the business which was taken over in 2006 for 60m by Taggart Homes.

Ellis Short
Texas-born Ellis Short , the owner of Sunderland FC, started his business career with General Electric, but later worked for Lone Star Funds, a private equity firm based in Dallas. He has retired from Lone Star and he first came to prominence in Britain when he spent 23m in 2003 buying Skibo Castle, which operates as a members-only hotel and country club in Scotland. In September 2008, Short bought a 30 per cent stake in the Black Cats. He assumed 100 per cent control of the club in May 2009. Shorts fortune is put at 1 billion.

The Duke of Northumberland
The Duke of Northumberlands controversial 28m redevelopment of Prudhoe town centre near his Alnwick seat were finally given the go-ahead in June after a five-year planning battle. Northumberland County Councils West Area Planning Committee gave unanimous approval for the plans which will transform the town.

His Northumberland Estates is driving development plans on the 120,000 acres it controls, with about 4,000 acres commercially farmed by Percy Farms and the rest in the hands of agricultural tenants or in forestry. All this activity stems from Northumberlands pressing need to find cash for restoration and repair work at his imposing ancestral seat, Alnwick Castle, which he inherited from his late brother, the 11th duke, in 1995.

He raised 22m by selling a Raphael painting in 2004 which went straight to the castles maintenance. He put 8.8m into the Alnwick Garden Trust, a charity redeveloping and managing the Alnwick Garden. With his valuable estates across the UK, and 22m of net assets in companies we can see, take Northumberland to 320m with rising land prices

John Squires and family
Car sales
John Squires and his family own Newcastle-based car retailer Addison Motors. It was founded by his late father, also John, and is now a main agent for Fiat, Renault, Audi, Nissan, Vauxhall, Ford and Alfa Romeo. It trades as Benfield Motor Group and also hires out cars and has servicing facilities on all its sites.

He may have reached 60 but Sting shows no sign of slowing. In 2011 he played 69 shows with gross receipts of $26m. Trained as a teacher he has become one of the worlds best selling solo artists since Police originally split up in 1984. The money rolled and between 1995 and 2005, his total salary and dividends came in at 115m on the back of previous solo hits and tours. But he is not operating at the same level as in the past and as such we take a cautious line and stick at a 180m valuation for Sting.

Steve Gibson
Transport and football
Gibson will be disappointed that his beloved Boro ended last season just outside the play-off places. Middlesbrough were relegated from the premiership at the end of the 2008-09 campaign but Gibson reckons the glory days can return to the Riverside Stadium.

The son of a local welder, Gibson left school at 17 and started his own haulage company, Bulkhaul, at the age of 23 with 2000 borrowed from his father and 2000 from his savings. In the 18 months to June 2011, it made 27.1m profit on 329.1m sales. With 120.2m net assets, it is worth 175m. Gibsons stake is worth 131m. Other assets and past dividends take him to 145m.

Dame Margaret Barbour & family
South Shields clothes company J Barbour made 11.3 profit on 89.8m sales in 2010. Sales rose to 123m in 2011 with profits up too. With 45m net assets it should easily be worth 120m. Its famous jackets were invented in 1909. Dame Margaret Barbour gave up teaching to take over the reins in the early 1970s when her husband died. We add around 10m for other assets and past dividends (25m from 2000 to 2009) to Barbour and her family.

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley will be delighted with the way that Newcastle United ended the 2011-12 premiership campaign in fifth spot and a place in the Europa League in 2012-12. Having paid 134m to gain control of the Magpies in the summer of 2007, and put in 258m all told, Ashley has had difficult relations with the St James Park fans. Hertfordshire-based Ashley pocketed 929m in one day when he floated his company, Sports Direct, on the stock market in February 2007 while retaining control of the business.

After leaving school at 16 Ashley first became involved in sportswear. He opened a small chain of sport and ski shops around London after quitting his job as a squash coach. The flotation valued Sports Direct at 2.2 billion. After a long period of decline, the shares have risen recently on the back of some strong results and the company is now worth 1.78 billion with Ashley sitting on a 1223m stake. With his Newcastle holding, a recent 86.8m windfall from the sale of leases he owned on 32 Sports Direct stores, past property deals, dividends and salaries and any remaining cash, Ashley should be worth 1,800m after-tax.

Sir Ridley and Tony Scott
Media and films
As directors of a string of blockbuster movies such as Gladiator and Top Gun, the total box office takings for the brothers 35 films total over 2.7b. The Scotts, from South Shields, also had a stake (worth 3.5m at one stage) stake in Pinewood Shepperton, the studio group. With their other interests in film production and properties in London and the US, we push the Scotts to 115m.

Stuart Monk and family
Stuart Monks Jomast Developments has been awarded Middlesbroughs large casino license and it is proposing a 25m development which will transform a 1960s office block in the centre of town. We value Jomast on its near 136m net assets. Monk and his family own it all. We add another 2m for other assets.

Mark Stephenson and family
PWS started as a family hardware business, set up in Darlington by Percy W Stephenson in 1909. It is now the UKs leading kitchen component distributor. PWS Distributors was formed in 1976. Chief executive Mark Stephenson is the great-grandson of the companys founder. The family has a 94 per cent stake in the company.

Mark Knopfler
Knopfler, the former lead vocalist and guitarist of Dire Straits was born in Glasgow though he grew up in Newcastle. Since Dire Straits was put on ice in the early 1990s, Knopfler has had some success as a solo artist. Knopfler is also working on a new album and wrote the music for the film Private Peaceful. Straitjacket Songs, his company, showed 8m net assets in 2010-11. His touring income is evident in Get Lucky Touring, which showed a 4m profit on 8m sales in its maiden accounts for 2010. Knopfler also has some choice property, and we push him up to 65m as a result.

Sir John Hall and family
Hall sold his familys 41.6 per cent stake in Newcastle United for 55m to Mike Ashley. Born in North Seaton in 1933, Hall began his career as a colliery surveyor, then moved into estate agency in Sunderland and later property development by buying supermarkets and renovating old houses, moving up steadily to develop the MetroCentre, in 1979. Hall pocketed around 70m when it was sold in 1987. Much of that was invested in the Magpies and other sporting ventures. By 1998 the Hall family had a controlling stake in the club and sold a 6.3 per cent for 10m. Sir John, having retired to Spain in 1997, returned to the UK in 2003 to resume his property developing role.

Viscount Allendale
The fourth Viscount inherited his title in December 2002. The familys wealth derives from land and coal in the west riding of Yorkshire. The first Viscount inherited an estate in 1907 then worth around 3m.
The Allendale estates in Northumberland cover 20,000 acres and include two country houses and 2,500 acres of forest. A new 1.5m Allendale Estates development at Bearl Farm, north of Stocksfield, was developed in 2006.
Although the third Viscount left just 764,000 in his will, we value the Allendale family assets at around 62m in total, with rising land prices.

Rowan Atkinson
Atkinson, from Consett in County Durham, made his name with Not the Nine OClock News and later Blackadder. But it is the hit series Mr Bean and later Johnny English that made his fortune. His four films have made 480m at the box office. Atkinson also had stake in the TV production company, Tiger Aspect, which was acquired in 2006 by IMG Media. The 30m deal netted Atkinson around 4.5m. But his own company, Hindmeck has paid him a total of over 10m in recent years. His film earnings, and his properties should edge him up to 70m.

Sir Frank Williams
The Oxfordshire-based F1 team is still majority owned by Williams, who is soon to step down from the board. Jarrow-born Williams co-founded the team in 1977. Having survived a horrific crash in 1986 which left him permanently in a wheelchair,
he built up Williams Grand Prix with Patrick Head as his engineering genius. His stake is worth 90m. Share sales at the float and past salaries and dividends should take him to 110m after-tax.

Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan
South Shields-based Visage began in the 1960s as a door-to-door operation and grew to incorporate market stalls and then shops until the early 1980s when it focused on importing. It now designs, sources and supplies casual wear to high street shops. The Sehgal family sold the company in 2010 to Hong Kong-based Li & Fung for 175m, although Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan, the son and son-in law of the founder, Mukesh Sehgal retain an involvement.

Tom Maxfield
Sunderlands Tom Maxfield was sales diector for software company Sage but left the Newcastle-based operation in 1997. He moved into hotels and built Seaham Hall, near Newcastle and its sister hotel The Samling in the Lake District. They were sold in 2008 for over 20m to Von Essen Hotels which later collapsed into administration. We can see about 500,000 of net assets in remaining Maxfield companies.

Ian Gregg and family
Ian Gregg began his career as a solicitor but in 1964 when his father died, he took over the family bakers shop in Newcastle with his mother. Greggs later expanded by opening new shops around Newcastle. By the mid-1980s Greggs had four regional divisions and 260 shops. It floated on the stock market in 1984 with an issue that was 97 times over-subscribed. Gregg retired from the board in 2007. The company is now worth 495m, valuing the wider Gregg family stake at 49m. Past dividends take the family to 58m.

Graham Wylie
Wylie co-founded Sage software while a student at Newcastle University, and built it into a multinational business. He left in 2003 and later sold a large chunk of his stake, netting 116.5m. We assume he has since sold the three per cent he reatined, netting perhaps an additional 79m. He has since set up Technology Services Group, owns racehorses and has property assets and a country house hotel and golf course with nearly 15m net assets between them.

Mark Fenwick & family
Newcastles Fenwick department store dates back to 1882 and Mark Fenwick, who used to manage bands such as Roxy Music, now chairs the business which made 36.7m profit on 296.4m sales in 2010-11. It should be worth its 452m net assets. We add 20m for other assets and past dividends.

Alastair & Michael Powell
Electrical cables
Cleveland Cable, was started in 1977 by the Powell brothers, Alastair and Michael, who own all the Middlesbrough-based company.

Dr Alan Reece & family
Dr Alan Reece owns and runs Newcastle-based Pearson Engineering, which develops combat engineer systems and de-mining equipment for the British and US Armies.

Sir Peter Vardy & family
Car sales
Vardy took over the family-owned business after his father died in 1976. He floated the Reg Vardy business on the stock market in 1989 and made around 124m from its 2006 sale. A year later, he started backing his sons car retailer, Peter Vardy (Holdings) where he has a 97 per cent stake. The Vardy family is worth 155m after-tax and hefty charitable donations.

Jeremy Middleton
Business services
Homeserve, the household repair services group, was co-founded by North East entrepreneur
Jeremy Middleton. His Homeserve stake is worth 13m. Other assets include a property company, and past dividends etc take him to 54m.

Robert and Alan Anderson
Anson makes products for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. It was founded by the Anderson family in Gateshead in early 1982 and within six years the company had won a Queens Award for Export Achievement. The business was owned by brothers Robert and Alan Anderson. In April 2009 it was sold to the Houston company National Oil Well Varco, for an undisclosed sum. But with profits of 12.6m on 49.1m in 2008, a 70m figure seems fair. After-tax we value the Andersons at 55m.

Freddy Shepherd and family
The former Newcastle United chairmans grandfather founded a scrap-metal business and his father developed a transport enterprise and bought an old brewery site beside the Tyne. Freddy joined the business in the 1960s and developed the quayside frontage. They have also spent millions buying and cleaning up the Neptuneshipyard in 2007 to make way for the UKs first renewable energy park.

Tom Maxfield
Sunderlands Tom Maxfield was sales diector for software company Sage but left the Newcastle-based operation in 1997. He moved into hotels and built Seaham Hall, near Newcastle and its sister hotel The Samling in the Lake District. They were sold in 2008 for over 20m to Von Essen Hotels which later collapsed into administration. We can see about 500,000 of net assets in remaining Maxfield companies.

Phil Cronin and family
In 2000, Cronin set up, which offers free games online. The Sunderland-based family has been involved in bingo for 50 years but the online operation is very profitable.

William Rankin and family
secured Rankin chairs developers Hanro, which made 5.6m on 9.4m sales in 2010. With 70.3m net assets, the business should be worth 70m. It is owned by the wider Rankin family and trusts. We add 6m for other assets.

Despite the tough times and economic gloom this first ever list of the richest people in our area, shows that times are still pretty good for some. Indeed the total wealth of our 30 richest in the inaugural North East Life Glitz List is over 6.25 billion.

Only eight of our top 30 inherited their wealth the great bulk of our list are self made. Some are sprinkled with star-dust and have made their names in music or entertainment but the great majority are in business.

Do not begrudge these fortunes one bit. These are the locally-based gaffers running large local businesses. Some still fly the flag for manufacturing. Dont get mad at their apparent monetary triumph.

Celebrate their success as this will bring the jobs we need here as they invest for growth. With the public sector facing an unprecedented squeeze, they are the ones to take up the slack.

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