JCB chairman Lord Bamford, along with his family, is now worth £7.65 billion in total after seeing by far the biggest rise in wealth in the Midlands. Walsall-born retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley, Bloor Homes and Triumph Motorcycles owner John Bloor and the Murray family, who made their fortune from plant hire, property and fire protection, make up the rest of the region’s top five.

The 76-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the largest fall in the billionaire count in the guide’s 36-year history, from a peak of 177 in 2022 to 165 this year. This year’s list of 350 individuals and families together hold combined wealth of £795 billion – a sum larger than the annual GDP of Poland.

Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: “This year’s Sunday Times Rich List suggests Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end. Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super rich who came here are moving away.

“Thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent. We’ll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy.

“These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways. This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aides. We know many of our readers find such people – especially those from humbler backgrounds – very inspiring.”

Lord Bamford and family

The Tory peer and owner of construction giant JCB has an estimated wealth of £7.65 billion – up by £1.75 billion on last year. JCB is one of Britain’s most successful family-owned businesses.

As chairman of the iconic construction equipment manufacturer since 1975, Staffordshire-born Lord Bamford has presided over the prolific global expansion of a brand whose products ranging from 46 tonne tracked excavators to children’s toys and DIY equipment.

The firm has 7,500 employees across its 11 factories in the UK exporting over 75% of production. JCB reported a record turnover of £4.4 billion in 2022 and profit before tax of £501.6m.

The Coates family

Having launched bet365 from a Stoke-on-Trent car park, the Coates family’s combined estimated wealth now sits at £7.4 billion. But their story could have been so different.

Highest-paid director Denise Coates risked everything when she took out a £15m loan to launch the firm from a portable cabin in a car park in 2000. The family had run Provincial Racing betting shops but she saw the future online – and how right she was.

Denise’s father Peter – the Stoke City chairman – was the son of a miner and became an entrepreneur, also running a catering business and helping to found Signal Radio. And Denise learned her trade in Provincial Racing, first working as a cashier and then studying econometrics at the University of Sheffield.

She took out a £15m loan from RBS, secured against her chain of betting shops, and the website was launched in 2001. Four years later the new venture was so successful that she sold that chain of high street shops to Coral for £40m.

bet365 has donated massive amounts to charities, including Oxfam, CAFOD, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, as well relief programmes to people affected by the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Famously shunning publicity, Denise lives with her husband, Richard, a director at Stoke City who runs the property side of the business, in a farmhouse in Cheshire.