Barbour family valued at £355million on 2018 North East Rich List - and another South Shields clothing firm family also features

The family behind a South Tyneside fashion success story has again featured on a list of the richest people in the North East.

Friday, 11th May 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 11th May 2018, 10:36 am
Barbour company chairman Dame Margaret Barbour

At eighth in the Sunday Times Rich List for the region are Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour and family - who own clothing firm Barbour which has its headquarters on the Simonside Industrial Estate, South Shields.

The family is estimated to have a wealth of £355million at present, up a total of £10million on last year.

Mike Ashley.

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Also on the list at 15th place is Raj Seghal and Sanjeev Mehan and family, who run South Shields clothing firm Visage.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley topped the list once again.

Ashley remains the region’s richest man with a fortune now put at £2.437billion, up £277million on last year.

Ellis Short, who owns the Magpies’ rivals Sunderland AFC, has seen his wealth fall by £200million to £1billion after the Black Cats were relegated in successive seasons.

Short has since agreed a deal to sell the club to a consortium headed by the former owner of non-league club Eastleigh, Stewart Donald.

Like Sunderland, Newcastle United are also up for sale, although a deal to sell has not yet been reached.

Ashley recently spurned an from Amanda Staveley and her Middle East-backed investment vehicle PCP Capital Partners.

Ashley’s main source of wealth is his Sports Direct business, worth £2.05billion.

The business’s recovering share price justifies raising Ashley to £2.437billion, though the 53-year-old’s wealth remains well down on the £3.75billion of four years ago.

Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “They say the surest way to become a millionaire is to start out as a billionaire - and then buy a football club.

“It’s a grim joke that Sunderland owner Ellis Short may not wish to hear right now.

“Short keeps his billionaire status in this year’s 30th Rich List by a whisker - but takes a substantial cut due to the Black Cats’ woes.

“It’s been a slightly better year for Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who has recovered some of his wealth after the wobbles of Sports Direct’s share price in recent years.

“Our North East Rich List epitomises the increasingly diverse range of ways the wealthy are making their money.

“Although property continues to be a big part of the picture, this part of the country is producing entrepreneurs making fortunes from fast fashion, software and online gambling.”