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UK's richest double their wealth

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 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.

Old money appears to be struggling to keep pace - the Queen dropped out of the richest 300 for the first time, despite seeing her wealth increase by £10 million to an estimated £340 million.

Among the new entries to this year's chart are George and Amal Clooney, who are valued at £121 million. The actor and human-rights lawyer married in September.

There are no signs that Brand Beckham is losing its earning power, despite David's retirement from football. In fact, the list suggests the former England captain makes more now than when he was playing.

Beckham and his wife Victoria, a successful entrepreneur, are now worth an estimated £240 million after seeing their fortune rise £30 million in the last year, according to the list.

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton does not even break into the top 1,000 but he is Britain's richest young sportsman with £88 million.

Daniel Radcliffe is still working his magic long after Harry Potter, with a £69 million fortune, making him the wealthiest young actor.

Of the 117 billionaires in the list, only 62 are British. They include Sir Richard Branson (£4.1 billion), Newcastle United Football Club owner Mike Ashley (£3.5 billion) and Lord Sugar (£1.04 billion).


From Belfast Telegraph