NEWCASTLE United chairman Mike Ashley has boosted his personal fortune during the past 12 months by up to £500m, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Ashley, who also owns the sportswear firm Sports Direct, is now worth £1,750m – up from £1,268m last year.

This makes him the North- East’s richest person and the 36th richest in the country.

In contrast to Mr Ashley, entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, whose health club empire is based in Darlington, reportedly experienced a drop in wealth from £430m last year to £85m this year.

Mr Bannatyne, who has been involved in a costly divorce from his second wife, Joanne McCue, recently saw his Bannatyne Fitness firm post annual losses of more than £16m.

The Northern Echo: Region's rich list

He has previously disputed The Sunday Times’ valuation of his wealth.

A notable new inclusion in the list is Anita Zabludowicz, the wife of property tycoon Poju Zabludowicz.

The former Newcastle College student, who grew up in the city, has a combined wealth with her husband of £1,500m. The couple recently commissioned a £60m pair of “his and hers” mansions in London with an adjoining art gallery. The couple are ranked second in the North-East and 42nd nationally.

Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson, who made his money from the haulage firm, Bulkhaul, increased his wealth from £135m to £165m, the Sunday Times said.

Other notable inclusions in the North-East version of the Rich List include musician, Sting, whose wealth remained static at £180m and Graham Wylie, one of the founders of software firm Sage and wellknown racehorse owner. His wealth is also said to amount to £180m – a rise of £5m on the previous year.

The Newcastle-based Fenwicks chain of department stores has added £34m to the fortune of Mark Fenwick and family in the past year.

Mr Fenwick, 63, is a former manager of Roxy Music, but now chairs the business. He and his family are given a £472m valuation in the list.

Those featuring on the Yorkshire version of the list include supermarket boss, Sir Ken Morrison, and internet technology tycoon, Peter Wilkinson.

Mr Wilkinson, who lives in Sleightholmedale, near Helmsley, founded Freeserve and is said to be worth £302m.

The Sunday Times Rich List, which is published with the Sunday Times this weekend, is based on identifiable wealth such as land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies.