A Dorset landowner, along with the founder of a Weymouth-based fashion giant, remain among the richest people in the South West.

The Hon Charlotte Townshend and Tom Singh lead the way in the latest edition of The Sunday Times Rich List for the South West.

Mrs Townsend has an estimated 15,000 acres of land in Dorset with farming and estate companies, plus 20 acres of property in affluent Holland Park in west London and other parts of the country.

Her Ilchester estate, which she inherited in 1990, includes parts of Chesil Beach as well as Abbotsbury Swannery.

She saw a significant increase of in her wealth of up to £35m compared to 2017. With her wealth now standing at £460m, she is ranked 11th in the South West ranking, down from 10th in 2017.

However, the same can not be said for Mr Singh and his family who saw a decrease of £15m in his wealth, which now stands at £370m. He fell from 11th to 15th in the latest rankings.

As reported in March, up to 980 jobs are being axed at New Look under proposals to shut 60 stores and slash rent on nearly 400 shops as part of a rescue plan.

New Look said it was looking to close nearly 10 per cent of its 593-strong UK store estate, with a further six sites that are sub-let also due to shut as it pushes ahead with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

It said the closures would lead to redundancies, with up to 980 jobs out of its workforce of 15,300 under threat, although it said it would look to redeploy staff where possible.

Only three of the twenty richest individuals in the South West have experienced a decrease in their wealth over the past year and in total the group is worth £24.85bn, collectively up by nearly £3.985bn on 2017.

According to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, to be published this Sunday, May 13, Sir James Dyson its richest person.

The 160-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain and is celebrating its 30th anniversary issue.

Dyson, 71, is the region's richest person with a fortune now put at £9.5bn, up £1.7bn on last year and now nearly three times greater than his nearest challenger. Dyson’s vast engineering and technology empire is roaring along at full power, producing 80,000 machines a day and its 100 millionth machine was made during 2017. In the past year he has benefited from a strong rise in exports, with about 73 per cent of the company’s recent growth stemming from Asia.

Robert Watts, the Compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Sir James Dyson’s energy seems undimmed. Although probably still best known for his bagless vacuum cleaners, he is now making a fortune for selling a suite of other products all over the world.

“His track record allied with his investment in robotics, electric car and artificial intelligence suggests to us that he may one day top the entire The Sunday Times Rich List.

“Our Southwest Rich List list is largely a story of self-made wealth - often by people from humble roots. Chris Dawson was a Plymouth market trader. David McMurtry started out as an apprentice. Mark Constantine spent time living in woods as a homeless teenager.

“This is the biggest change we’ve seen in the Sunday Times Rich List over its 30 years. We see less inherited wealth and more entrepreneurs who start out with little, work hard and strike gold.”