Oh my dosh! The richest people in our area

Max Griggs
Max Griggs

What do a baron, a shoe tycoon and a poultry magnate have in common?

They’re all part of the 2019 Sunday Times Rich List - and all have links to Northamptonshire.

Max Griggs took Rushden & Diamonds to the Football League.

Max Griggs took Rushden & Diamonds to the Football League.

Lord Heseltine, Max and Stephen Griggs and Robin Faccenda have retained their positions as some of the East Midlands’ richest people.

But none are as rich as Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner despised by most Geordies. The Sports Direct boss is still the wealthiest in the region despite losing £467m this year.

Ashley, 54, is down to his last £1.976bn - but we’re sure he’ll get by.

The richest person in Northamptonshire is still Leon Max, the Russian born fashion mogul who made his fortune through his Max Studio brand.

Leon Max and facilities at Easton Neston.'110817GM-A388 ENGPNL00120110817133032

Leon Max and facilities at Easton Neston.'110817GM-A388 ENGPNL00120110817133032

He owns the grand Grade I listed Easton Neston near Towcester after buying it from Lord Hesketh in 2005.

Mr Max, who is worth £410m and is the 13th richest in the region, was given an honorary degree by the University of Northampton in 2012.

At number 15 on the list is Robin Faccenda and family, of Brackley-based chicken merchant Faccenda Group.

He’s worth a cluck-load of money - £350m to be exact.

Lord Heseltine.

Lord Heseltine.

Two places lower than Mr Faccenda is Lord Heseltine, or Baron Heseltine of Thenford to give him his full title.

The former Tory deputy prime minister was made a life peer in 2001 and owns country mansion Thenford House about five miles from Brackley.

One of the founders of Haymarket Media Group, the 86-year-old is worth a cool £281m.

A £5,000 fine given to him by magistrates in Northampton in 2017 for knocking a cyclist off of his bike was loose change.

David Ross.

David Ross.

Just making the top 20 are Max and Stephen Griggs, worth a combined £264m.

The Northamptonshire shoemakers made their fortune through Dr Martens boots with Max a local football legend after funding Rushden & Diamonds’ rise through the leagues.

He handed the club over to the fans before their demise in 2011 but can still be seen taking in the occasional game at Hayden Road, the current home of phoenix side AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Other familiar faces with county links or being close to the border include David Ross, the Carphone Warehouse founder whose education trust runs several Northamptonshire schools including the struggling Lodge Park Academy.

Mr Ross, worth £668m and ranked the seventh richest in the region, made a donation to Corby MP Tom Pursglove’s 2015 election campaign.

Charles Wilson, the former chief executive officer of Wellingborough-based Booker which merged with Tesco in March 2018, comes in at number 18 with wealth of £280m.

Number three on the list and worth a whopping £1.42bn is Will Adderley, 47, the son of Dunelm Mill founder Bill Adderley.

Mr Adderley began his career aged nine, manning the tills at the home furnishing operation.

He now lives in Ketton in Rutland, just under two miles from the Northamptonshire border village of Collyweston.

Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Today’s super-rich are often not who you think they would be.

“Our East Midlands Rich List includes a former squash coach, an ex-plasterer and someone who once sold flooring.

“But Mike Ashley, John Bloor and Mel Morris today have combined wealth of more than £4bn.

“They are typical of the self-made entrepreneurs who now dominate the pages of the Sunday Times Rich List.

“With the high street struggling and Brexit unresolved, it’s striking that many of the rich have actually seen their wealth fall over the past year.

“A quarter of those on this region’s Rich List are less affluent than a year ago.

“So the idea that the rich only ever get richer isn’t necessarily true.”