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UK's richest double their wealth

Published 25/04/2015

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and his family are worth an estimated £9.20 billion
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and his family are worth an estimated £9.20 billion

The collective wealth of Britain's richest people has more than doubled in the last ten years, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

This year's list found the wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of £547.126 billion.

The figure has more than doubled since a total of £249.615 billion was recorded in 2005, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade.

Plain old millionaires increasingly struggle to count themselves among the mega-rich, with a fortune of £100 million now required to make it into the top 1,000.

That is £15m higher than last year's minimum, while in 1997 it took a personal wealth of 'just' £15 million to make the grade.

The list, which is published tomorrow, includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year. They account for a total wealth of £325.131 billion and 80 of them are based in London. It means the capital has more sterling billionaires than any other city in the world.

London-based Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik, whose empire includes the Warner Music Group, was at the summit this year, with an estimated fortune of £13.17 billion.

He jumped from fourth last year after seeing his wealth rise by more than £3 billion, according to the list.

Mr Blavatnik took over top spot from brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who were nudged into second despite their fortune rising by £1.1 billion to £13 billion.

Galen and George Weston and family, who run a retail empire including Selfridges and Primark, enjoyed a particularly prosperous year, with their wealth soaring by £3.7 billion to £11 billion.

Not all those in the top 25 have seen their bank balances bulge, however.

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Chelsea Football Club chairman Roman Abramovich saw their fortunes fall by £1.05 billion and £1.23 billion respectively, the list claimed.

However, neither are likely to be sweating too much over their finances. Mittal and family are still worth an estimated £9.20 billion while researchers put Abramovich's fortune at £7.29 billion.

The list charts wealth including land, property, assets or significant shares but excludes bank accounts.

It has already been revealed that Sir Paul McCartney was at the summit of the top 40 musical millionaires on the list.

With a personal fortune of £730 million, the former Beatle is well ahead of his nearest rival Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is worth an estimated £650 million.

Adele, who is reckoned to be worth £50 million, was named richest young musician in the UK and Ireland.

Second place in the chart, made up of acts aged 30 or under, goes to the four members of One Direction and former bandmate Zayn Malik who are said to be worth £25 million each.

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