Sir James Dyson fifth wealthiest in Sunday Times Rich List with £23 billion fortune

Sir James Dyson has been named fifth wealthiest in the Rich List Credit: Axel Heimken/DPA/PA

Inventor Sir James Dyson has once again been named the richest person in the West Country, according to the new edition of the The Sunday Times Rich List.

The entrepreneur, behind the Dyson Group based in Malmesbury in Wiltshire, has a fortune worth £23 billion, making him the fifth wealthiest person in the country.

Last year he ranked second on the list, behind London-based brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who now have £35 billion - jumping by more than £7 billion since 2022.

For the first time in 14 years, the number of billionaires on the list fell – by six to 171.

But those who stayed in the billionaires’ club still saw their wealth grow by close to £31 billion.

Sir James Dyson has been overtaken on the Rich List in 2023

These are the 10 richest people and families in the UK, according to the Rich List:

1. Gopi Hinduja and family: £35 billion - banking, media and energy

2. Sir Jim Ratcliffe: £29.7 billion - chemicals company

3. Sir Leonard Blavatnik: £28.6 billion - media and music

4. David and Simon Reuben and family: £24.4 billion - property and technology

5. Sir James Dyson and family: £23 billion - technology

6. Lakshmi Mittal and family: £16 billion - steel company

7. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family: £14.5 billion - retail

8. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho: £13.1 billion - beer

9. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing: £12 billion - packaging

10. Michael Platt: £11.5 billion - investment

Who is Sir James Dyson?

He was born in Norfolk in 1947 and studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Royal College of Art.

He then went on to work in Bath to help create a flat-bottomed fiberglass landing craft called the 'Sea Truck.'

He later produced the Ballbarrow in 1974; a plastic bin shaped like a wheelbarrow which moved by rolling on a ball.

A few years later, after observing the industrial dust extractor in his factory, he thought about scaling it down into a domestic product.

He then started to design his concept using just cardboard and sticky tape – an idea which eventually spawned into the Dyson vacuum.

How did he grow his wealth?

The inventor and entrepreneur sold a product known as G-Force to Japan where it became a commercial success and won a design prize in 1991.

He then opened a plant in Wiltshire in 1993 and his Dual Cyclone product became the top-selling vacuum-cleaner within two years.

Dyson products were made in Wiltshire until 2002 before moving to Malaysia. The company has also made hairdryers, fans, and lights and has 14,000 employees worldwide in more than 80 countries.