Sir James Dyson named as UK's richest person as wealthiest Scots revealed

Inventor Sir James Dyson has been named Britain’s richest person with a landowner, oil tycoon and distiller holding the greatest wealth in Scotland.

Sir James Dyson has been named as the UK's richest person for the first time.

Sir James, the Brexit-backing entrepreneur, saw his wealth grow by £3.6 billion over the past year, climbing to £16.2 billion.

In February, it was expected the number of billionaires would rise to nearly 160, but it fell by four to 147 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the Sunday Times said.

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Meanwhile, Scotland’s richest people have held onto their wealth at a better rate when compared to the rest of the UK over the last year and amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to the publication.

Fashion billionaire and land owner Anders Povlsen came out on top of the rankings in Scotland as a new entry with his £4.73 billion fortune.

Glenn Gordon and family, who are behind the Moray-based distiller William Grant & Sons, have seen the biggest increase - up 10.5% with their fortune now worth £3.19bn.

Aberdeen-based oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood and his family are listed as having a fortune of £1.7bn – down £63m on last year – with much of their wealth now being channeled into philanthropic work at both home and abroad.

The number of total rich-listers born, based or whose wealth is largely tied up in Scotland has remained the same this year at 82, but their combined worth is up by 13% to £39.504 billion from £34.957 billion.

Even with Mr Povlsen's cash removed, the Scottish rich list is just 0.5% down on 2019 .

Overall, the wealth of the richest 1,000 across the whole of the UK is down 3.7% from last year.

Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: "The super-rich are of course better placed to endure the financial impact of coronavirus than any of us.

"But the pandemic is already hitting Scotland's leading entrepreneurs and business leaders in the pocket, with more than half of those on our Scottish Rich List seeing their wealth fall in this year's Sunday Times Rich List.

"This has profound implications for us all.

"While some of Britain's super-rich have not behaved admirably during this crisis, our economic recovery will need many of these people to create jobs and growth if we are to escape a prolonged recession.

"This year we have included the Danish billionaire Anders Povlsen.

"Although based in Denmark, he qualifies for our list on the strength of the swathes of Scottish land he now owns as well as his stake in the London fashion retailer Asos."

Mr Povlsen, 47, was captivated by the Highland's rugged beauty when he visited with his parents in the 1980s.

Since 2006, he has amassed 221,000 acres in total and has vowed to restore some of the neglected landscapes.

In addition to a 26.4% stake in fashion retailer Asos, he owns Danish clothing firm Bestseller as well as part of the independent Bestseller Fashion Group China.

Meanwhile, a record 25 female billionaires make the list, which also shows the overall wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK is down by £29 billion on last year.

The top 10 for 2020 are:

- Sir James Dyson and family, household goods and technology, £16.2 billion.

- Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family, industry and finance, £16 billion.

- David and Simon Reuben, property and internet, £16 billion.

- Sir Leonard Blavatnik, investment, music and media, £15.78 billion.

- Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos chemical giant, £12.15 billion.

- Kirsten and Jorn Rausing, inheritance and investment, £12.1 billion.

- Alisher Usmanov, mining and investment, £11.68 billion.

- Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and family, retail, £10.53 billion

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

- The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, property, £10.29 billion.

List compiler Robert Watts said: "Ever since the financial crisis of 2008-9, Britain's wealthiest people have become richer and richer.

"Covid-19 has called time on their golden period. This year's rich list paints a picture of Britain on the brink of calamity - two months after lockdown and already billions of pounds have been wiped out.

"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."

The full list covering the wealthiest 1,000 people in the UK will be published on Sunday in a 136-page edition of The Sunday Times Magazine.

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