GREATER DI­VER­SITY IN HOW LO­CAL EN­TREPRENEURS MAKE THEIR MONEY

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Vast for­tunes now be­ing made from mo­bile phones, on­line gam­bling and even sell­ing chick­ens.

A NUM­BER of wealthy in­di­vid­u­als with Coven­try and War­wick­shire con­nec­tions have made the pres­ti­gious Sun­day Times Rich List.

Among them are Lord Ed­mis­ton, Sir Pe­ter Rigby, Tony Gal­lagher and broth­ers Michael and Kenny Bruce.

The na­tional news­pa­per’s an­nual list of the UK’s wealth­i­est in­di­vid­u­als based on busi­ness and fam­ily fi­nances also fea­tures a sep­a­rate West Mid­lands list.

Lord Ed­mis­ton tops the list of those based in Coven­try and War­wick­shire and is ranked the sixth wealth­i­est across the Mid­lands with an es­ti­mated for­tune of £1.04 bil­lion.

Lord Ed­mis­ton founded the Coleshill­based IM Group, which is made of a prop­erty com­pany and the In­ter­na­tional Mo­tors au­to­mo­tive fran­chises.

Lord Ed­mis­ton was made a Con­ser­va­tive life peer in 2011 but quit the House of Lords in 2015 to spend more time on his char­ity work.

He is one of the UK’s big­gest phi­lan­thropic donors and wants to de­vote more of his time to re­li­gious and ed­u­ca­tional char­i­ties. He set up Chris­tian Vi­sion in 1988, a world­wide char­ity aim­ing to help a bil­lion peo­ple.

He is also a sig­nif­i­cant donor to the Con­ser­va­tive party.

Chris­tian Vi­sion spon­sors three city acad­e­mies in the Mid­lands in­clud­ing the Grace Acad­e­mies in Dar­las­ton, Soli­hull and Coven­try.

Teach­ing is based on Chris­tian prin­ci­ples, en­cour­ag­ing de­cency, re­spect and com­pas­sion.

A for­mer fi­nance direc­tor at the failed Jensen Mo­tors, Lord Ed­mis­ton used his £6,000 re­dun­dancy pay to set up In­ter­na­tional Mo­tors in 1974.

He be­gan as the world’s only dis­trib­u­tor for Jensen parts be­fore ac­quir­ing the fran­chises for Subaru and Isuzu.

The IM group is housed on a pur­pose­built 200-acre site in Coleshill, War­wick­shire, which is the head­quar­ters of its global op­er­a­tions.

Tony Gal­lagher, ranked eighth ((£850m) sold his Warwick-based strate­gic land busi­ness – Gal­lagher Es­tates – for £525 mil­lion early in 2017

The busi­ness – one of the largest of its kind in the UK – was ac­quired by a Lon­don hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion.

Gal­lagher Es­tates con­trols plots of land with po­ten­tial for 42,500 homes, mainly in the south Mid­lands and south of Eng­land. It was bought by Lon­don and Quad­rant Hous­ing Trust,.

Mr Gal­lagher plans to use the cash gen­er­ated by the sale to build up a valu­able pri­vate rented sec­tor op­er­a­tion in Lon­don and other UK cities.

The sale did not in­clude Mr Gal­lagher’s re­tail and prop­erty in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment busi­ness – Gal­lagher De­vel­op­ments which con­tin­ues to ac­quire and de­velop prime com­mer­cial land. Mr Gal­lagher has spent more than three decades ac­cu­mu­lat­ing land and prop­erty as­sets rang­ing from re­tail parks, hous­ing plots and in­dus­trial sites. The re­sult is a vast land bank un­der de­vel­op­ment through­out the UK, as well as a large re­tail park in­vest­ment port­fo­lio.

A flag­ship de­vel­op­ment from Gal­lagher De­vel­op­ments is the Warwick Gates Busi­ness Park which of­fers busi­ness prop­er­ties and of­fices of all sizes, com­plete with lake and tree-lined boule­vards.

Coven­try Air­port owner Sir Pe­ter Rigby founded the Rigby Group, which last Septem­ber un­veiled its best ever fig­ures in its 42 year his­tory in Septem­ber. Rev­enues soared past the £2 bil­lion mark.

Prof­its and turnover at the Strat­ford-upon-Avon based com­pany in­creased by more than 20 per cent as the com­pany saw suc­cess across its six di­vi­sions of tech­nol­ogy, air­ports, ho­tels, real es­tate, avi­a­tion and fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

In the year to March 2017, the Rigby Group posted rev­enues of £2.17 bil­lion up from £1.79 bil­lion the pre­vi­ous year. Pre-tax prof­its, be­fore ex­cep­tional items were £27.9 mil­lion.

The Rigby Group’s air­ports di­vi­sion, which owns Bournemouth, Coven­try, Ex­eter and Nor­wich air­ports, bought the un­der-per­form­ing cor­po­rate jet cen­tre at Birm­ing­ham Air­port from Mar­shall Avi­a­tion Ser­vices in May 2017. The fa­cil­ity will come un­der the ban­ner of XLR Ex­ec­u­tive Jet Cen­tres, join­ing jet cen­tres at Coven­try and Ex­eter.

Mr Rigby’s up­mar­ket ho­tels group, un­der the Eden Ho­tel Col­lec­tion brand now in­cludes Bovey Cas­tle on Dart­moor, Brock­en­cote Hall in Worces­ter­shire and the Vic­to­rian man­sion at Chad­des­ley Cor­bett near Kid­der­min­ster, the Miche­lin­starred Mal­lory Court Ho­tel near Leam­ing­ton, the ex­clu­sive Kings Ho­tel in Chip­ping Cam­p­den, the Ar­den Ho­tel in Strat­ford-upon-Avon and Buck­land ToutSaints in Kings­bridge, Devon. The ho­tel group ex­panded fur­ther in 2015 with the ac­qui­si­tion of the Cater­ham House Ho­tel in Strat­ford-upon-Avon in a joint ven­ture with the Royal Shake­speare Com­pany.

Rigby Group sub­sidiary Bri­tish In­ter­na­tional He­li­copters is op­er­at­ing search and res­cue ser­vices in the Falk­land Is­lands for the Min­istry of De­fence, work­ing along­side mil­i­tary re­sources in the South At­lantic. Work has also com­pleted to turn for­mer pas­sen­ger fa­cil­i­ties at Coven­try Air­port into a man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion hub cov­er­ing 30 acres.

Liver­pool-born Sir Pe­ter, aged 74, founded his com­pany in 1975 with just £2,000 in cash. Sir Pe­ter’s sons James and Steven are both se­nior direc­tors, with James run­ning the firm’s high-per­form­ing UK di­vi­sion and chief ex­ec­u­tive of SCC EMEA and Steven the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the Rigby Group.

Sir Pe­ter de­votes much of his time and money to char­ity. The Rigby Foun­da­tion Char­i­ta­ble Trust sup­ports child re­lated causes and chil­dren’s hos­pices. Sir Pe­ter was knighted in the Queens Ju­bilee Hon­ours for his con­tri­bu­tion to in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and busi­ness.

Michael and Kenny Bruce are another new en­try onto the list this year, ranked 23rd in the West Mid­lands Rich List, with a for­tune of £190 mil­lion.

The broth­ers first reg­is­tered the do­main name Pur­ple­bricks.com only six years ago. Since then, they have cre­ated a £1 bil­lion busi­ness that is chang­ing the way peo­ple sell their homes. The Soli­hull-based op­er­a­tion is seen as a pi­o­neer­ing dis­rupter that could do to es­tate agents what Ocado has done to gro­cery shop­ping.

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