NEW Look founder Tom Singh is among several Dorset figures to feature in the New Year Honours List today.

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to the fashion industry.

Mr Singh started his empire in 1969 with a £5,000 loan from his parents who emigrated to the UK in the late 1940s from the Punjab when he was a baby.

He began New Look, which specialises in providing the latest fashions for women at affordable prices, after working on market stalls before he went to university.

By 1996 New Look was such a runaway success that Mr Singh reaped £170 million when he sold a 75 per cent stake in his company to the City.

Singh later took New Look private in a deal that valued the company at £700 million.

RAF officer Ross Gilbert celebrated being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire with his family on Portland.

Sqdn Ldr Gilbert, 49, a former pupil at Weymouth Grammar School, was honoured for his services to the Air Training Corps.

He said: "It hasn't sunk in yet. In the cadets we train young people to become good citizens as well as military personnel.

"I've been very lucky to be inspired by so many of them and happy to accept the honour on their behalf."

Sqdn Ldr Gilbert joined the local air cadet force after leaving school at 16 and combined his duties with full-time work at the former underwater weapons establishment on Portland.

He joined the RAF when he was 26 but continued to train young adults during tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Germany and in the UK. Now stationed at RAF High Wycombe he is the only serving RAF officer working with the Air Training Corps.

He toasted the announcement with his wife Sally, also from Portland, and sons Stuart, 20 and James, 18.

Another MBE goes to Richard Patterson, from Dorchester, the former chairman of the Dorset ME Support Group, who receives his award for charitable services to those with chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis.

He said: "It's been impossible to achieve this on my own and I want to thank all the people who have worked with me to raise the profile of this illness.

"Unfortunately a lot of people still don't recognise ME for the serious condition it is.

"To get this award will give confidence to all those people with the illness by showing them it is really being taken seriously."

Respected former county cricketer Roger Knight, who now lives in Corscombe near Beaminster, is also made an OBE.

He was secretary and chief executive of the MCC from 2000-2006. Mr Knight was awarded the honour for his services to sport.

Dr Carol Gibbens of Dorchester has been honoured with an MBE for services to the community.

Mrs Anne Faulconer of Sturminster Newton, is also made an MBE for services to The Children's Society.

Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Clewlow, of the Royal Corps of Signals has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his work as officer commanding 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron and his efforts to raise money for charity. He is now chief instructor at the Royal School of Signals at Blandford.

Other county figures recognised include Bournemouth's the Rev Canon James Richardson who receives an OBE for services to the Church of England and Mrs Myrna Chave from Poole for her services to Guide Dogs for the Blind and the community of Poole for which she also receives an OBE.