Wiltshire inventor Sir James Dyson tops Sunday Times Rich List for the first time

Sir James Dyson is now the richest man in the UK according to the Sunday Times Credit: PA

Wiltshire inventor Sir James Dyson is now the richest person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times.

The entrepreneur, whose company is based in Malmesbury in Wiltshire has seen his wealth grow by £3.6 billion over the past year, climbing to £16.2 billion.

His ascent up the Sunday Times Rich List has been helped by the declining fortunes of other prominent UK billionaires who have reportedly lost more than £54 billion in the past two months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

You may not like the super-rich, but it is hard to deny that our economy will need the jobs they create and the taxes they and their companies pay if we are to escape a prolonged recession that causes further misery to millions.

Robert Watts, Sunday Times list compiler
Dyson, which has a base in Malmesbury in Wiltshire, has seen its founder, Sir James Dyson, top the Sunday Times Rich List. Credit: PA

Sir James Dyson, 72 , topped the list despite losing £500 million of his own money in October after an electric car project was scrapped.

The company also invested £20 million in a project to produce 15,000 ventilators for the UK Government to help treat patients with coronavirus. They were then told they were no longer needed.

Sir James Dyson said his staff had “worked around the clock” to develop the ventilators.

In a statement he confirmed he would be footing the multi-million pound bill, and that Dyson would not be accepting any public money to cover the cost of the project.

Sunday Times Rich List Top 10

  • Sir James Dyson and family, household goods and technology, £16.2bn.

  • Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family, industry and finance, £16bn.

  • David and Simon Reuben, property and internet, £16bn.

  • Sir Leonard Blavatnik, investment, music and media, £15.78bn.

  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos chemical giant, £12.15bn.

  • Kirsten and Jorn Rausing, inheritance and investment, £12.1bn.

  • Alisher Usmanov, mining and investment, £11.68bn.

  • Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and family, retail, £10.53bn.

  • Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho, inheritance, brewing and banking, £10.3bn.

  • The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, property, £10.29bn.