Inventor Sir James Dyson surpassed the Sunday Times rich list for the first time after increasing his net worth by £ 3.6 billion in a year.
The entrepreneur behind Brexit made a fortune with the invention of the bagless vacuum cleaner that went on sale in 1993.
He replaced Indian businessmen Sri and Gopi Hinduja at the summit.
The coronavirus pandemic is accused of a decline in the overall wealth of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom.
A self-made man, Sir James, 72, grew up in Norfolk in the 1950s and studied art before his art school director suggested that he get into design.
After inventing a wheelbarrow in 1974 that used a spherical wheel – designed to be easier to maneuver – he then set out to create the product he was best known for after seeing an industrial extractor and figuring out how to reduce it for use domesticated.
It took over 10 years to reach the market, and at one point Sir James owed his bank almost £ 1 million.
But it was a success and quickly became the best-selling vacuum cleaner in Britain, which made its inventor very wealthy.
More recently, he supported Brexit, arguing that the UK would be better off outside the European Union, and relocated its headquarters to Singapore, having previously transferred production from Wiltshire to Malaysia.
Most Dyson products are designed in the UK but made in Asia.
In March, the government commissioned 10,000 fans from the company to help deal with the coronavirus crisis, although Sir James later told employees that they were no longer needed.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Sir James told the newspaper that his recent offer to build an electric car had been abandoned despite the cost of £ 500 million of his own money.
“Ours is a life of risk and failure,” he said. “We try things and they fail. Life is not easy. “
How is the Sunday Times rich list compiled?
The list is based on estimates of the minimum wealth of the wealthiest 1,000 people or families in the UK.
This year’s list assessments were conducted until the end of April to take into account the early impact of the coronavirus pandemic, assessments being adjusted in the event of significant movements in the value of listed companies.
Identifiable heritage and large shares of listed companies are included, but bank accounts and small holdings in a private equity portfolio are excluded.
The Sunday Times team is wary of the responsibilities and all owners or large shareholders of companies who have been involved in discussions with banks on debt levels have been removed from the list.
The list includes people who are not British citizens but who live and work in Great Britain.
Family interests are grouped together when it is clear that the family is acting together to defend the interests of the business.
The full methodology can be found here.
The wealth of the wealthiest 1,000 people in Britain fell for the first time since the financial crash, down 3.7% overall.
The Hinduja brothers, who are co-chairs of the Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group, saw their wealth fall by £ 6 billion in one year while Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who topped the Rich List in 2018, saw his net worth drop the same amount.
List compiler Robert Watts said: “Since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the wealthiest people in Britain have become increasingly wealthy.
“Covid-19 called time for its golden period. This year’s rich list portrays a picture of Britain on the brink of disaster – two months after the foreclosure and billions of pounds have already been wiped out.
“You may not like the super-rich, but it’s hard to deny that our economy will need the jobs they create and the taxes they and their businesses pay if we are to escape a protracted recession that causes new miseries for millions of people. “
The list also noted that a number of billionaires have sought to use the government’s emergency plan, under which staff are paid 80% of their salary by the state, up to £ 2,500 per month.
Who else did?
The richest woman on the list is Kirsten Rausing, who owns a third of the holding company that owns the rights to the Tetra Pak cartons.
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, the daughter of brewery magnate Freddy Heineken, is also among the top 10. Actress Salma Hayek and her husband, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, are also on the list.
The queen arrives at 372 with an estimated value of 350 million pounds sterling.
The highest new entry is fashion mogul Anders Povlsen, who is the largest landowner in Scotland and has holdings in online retailer Asos and Danish clothing company Bestseller.
Sir Paul McCartney is the best-placed musician with £ 800 million, while singer Rihanna is a new entry with an estimated £ 468 million.
Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards make up the rest of the musical top five, with Sir Ringo Starr missing £ 10 million.
The Duke of Westminster, whose fortune comes from his family’s real estate empire, continues to top the list of the 50 poorest people under the age of 30.
Lady Charlotte Wellesley comes second. She is married to Alejandro Santo Domingo who made a fortune in brewing.
Jack Sullivan, son of West Ham co-owner David, comes in third, while musician Ed Sheeran comes in fifth on the back of his record 255 concert tour completed last year.
Boxer Anthony Joshua entered the top 10 after regaining his world titles in December while Lewis Hamilton was placed in the 545th with a net worth of £ 224 million, making him the richest active athlete.
Former English football captain David Beckham, along with his wife Victoria, was the highest ranked sportsman in 354th place – although several Premier League owners have come much higher.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of the Ineos cycling team and the French football club OGC Nice, tops the list of sports club owners. Former Arsenal shareholder Alisher Uzmanov and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich were also among the top three.
The Sunday Times Rich List Top 10
- Sir James Dyson and his 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 the Internet, £ 16 billion.
- Sir Leonard Blavatnik, investment, music and media, £ 15.78 billion.
- Ineos chemical giant Sir Jim Ratcliffe, £ 12.15 billion.
- Kirsten and Jorn Rausing, heritage and investment, £ 12.1 billion.
- Alisher Usmanov, mines and investments, £ 11.68 billion.
- Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and their family, retail, £ 10.53 billion.
- Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho, inheritance, brewery and bank, £ 10.3 billion.
- The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, property, £ 10.29 billion.