York’s richest family revealed – and they’re worth a bob or two

Who is in the money? Coney Street clock © Allan Harris on Flickr; pound coin © PublicDomainPictures

It’s the time of year when the bean counters tot up the personal fortunes of Britain’s super rich and create a league table of wealth.

Never a place for tycoons, York has only one entry in the 1,000-long list which makes up the Sunday Times Rich List 2016.

And that is the Shepherd family. Owners of construction firm the Shepherd Group, including the modular building business Portakabin, they are worth £253 million according to the research.

The group has been restructuring of late. Last year – the group’s 125th anniversary – it sold off its built environment division to Surrey-based Wates.

And the sale followed that of Fulford-based Shepherd Homes to Galliford Try. The group also made 55 people redundant.

According to the Sunday Times the family’s £253 million fortune has not changed from last year.

Shepherd Group
Frederick Shepherd founded the Shepherd business in 1890, in York. Since then, the companies which form Shepherd Group have developed to operate on a major scale, currently employing around 1,700 people.

– source: Shepherd Group website

But they have slipped in the super-rich rankings. Still the 16th richest in Yorkshire, the Shepherds have dropped from 389= in 2015’s national table to a mere 415= this year.

Yorkshire’s other tycoons

Philip Meeson, who runs Leeds-based holiday airline Jet2.com, has seen his fortune rise by 131% in a year to £386m, catapulting him into the Yorkshire rich list.

A £540m increase in wealth lifts Robert Miller to the top of the 2016 Yorkshire Rich List. Miller, his daughter Princess Marie-Chantal and wider family are now worth £1.58bn after a near-20% rise in the value of LVMH, the French luxury goods group that holds a controlling stake in Hong Kong-Duty Free Shoppers.

He owns the the 36,000-acre (146 km2) Gunnerside Estate in Swaledale, one of the largest sporting country estates in Britain.

Miller has deposed brothers Eddie and Malcolm Healey from the head of the Yorkshire rich list. Eddie, 78, sold his Parc Trostre retail park, in Llanelli, for £156m in 2014, a fraction of the price achieved for his Meadowhall centre, near Sheffield, which sold for £1.17bn in 1999.

Malcolm, 71, sold his Hygena Kitchens business for £200m and then repeated the process in America, selling up for £800m.

Doncaster-born Lord Kirkham retains his £1.15bn fortune, ranking third in the county. He began his furniture business in a converted billiard hall and built up the DFS chain into one of the country’s best-known brands.

Tony Murray and family completes the list of Yorkshire billionaires. At 96, Murray is the oldest person in this year’s rich list.

He has two main British operations: the Andrew Sykes business, which hires heating and air-conditioning equipment, and London Security, a fire protection concern, headquartered in Leeds.

The Yorkshire top 20 rich list is below.

Yorkshire Rich List 2016

Rank 2016Rank 2015Name2016 wealthWealth increase/ decreaseNational rank
13Robert Miller and Princess Marie-Chantal and family£1.58bn£540m65
21Eddie and Malcolm Healey£1.43bn
£70m
73=
32Lord Kirkham and family£1.15bnNo change95=
44Tony Murray and family£1.05bn£40m110=
55Sir Ken Morrison and family£770m£37m144
66Paul Sykes£690 mNo change172
77Terry Bramall and family£425mNo change268=
8-Philip Meeson£386mUp £219m290
99Peter Wilkinson£385mUp £25m291=
108Jack Tordoff and family£383m£15m294
1110Roderick Evans and family£350mNo change313=
1212Dean and Janet Hoyle£282m£2m373=
1313Alan Lewis£280m£10m377=
1414David Hood£270m£4m389=
1515John Guthrie and family£260mNo change415=
1616The Shepherd family£253m£1m389=
1719=Paul and Johnny Caddick and family£250m£50m418=
1811Assem Allam and family£240m£100m437=
1917Malcolm Walker and family – Iceland£226m£11m456
20=18Tony Bramall and family£210m£2m491=
20=19=Malcolm Walker and family – Victoria Plumb£210m£10m491=