Griggs family are a shoo-in on rich list

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A pair of Northamptonshire shoemakers have been named among the richest businessmen in the country.

Compilers of the list say the wealth of Max and Stephen Griggs has risen by £75m since last year.

They are placed 20th in the East Midlands and 396th in the country.

Also on the list is David Ross, whose educational trust has recently taken on the running of several Northamptonshire schools.

The Griggs family started making boots in Northamptonshire in 1901, and the Dr Marten’s brand was moulded by Bill Griggs and a pair of maverick German inventors on April 1, 1960.

The boots were synonymous with the punk culture of the 1980s but the company faltered during the 2000s and almost shut.

However, a change in fortunes saw the boots become popular in a growing Asian market and in 2012 the Dr Marten’s brand was said to be the eighth fastest-growing in the UK.

In October last year, the R Griggs Group which owns Dr Marten’s was bought out in a £300m private equity deal by Premira Funds.

The Griggs family were said to have retained a 20 per cent stake in the business.

Max Griggs is also the founder and former owner of Rushden & Diamonds FC, which he handed over to fans in 2007 before its demise.

A re-entry on the Sunday Times Rich List, at number four in the East Midlands and number 144 in the country, is Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross.

Mr Ross’ home is the sprawling Nevill Holt estate, just over the Northamptonshire border in Leicestershire.

He is said to have a fortune worth £892m, up £182m since last year.

Mr Ross is chairman of the David Ross Educational Trust which runs academies including Greenfields Primary School in Kettering and Rockingham Primary and Lodge Park Academy in Corby.

The 26th annual Sunday Times Rich List shows Mike Ashley, Sports Direct owner, as the richest man in the East Midlands with a vast wealth of £3.75 billion. His company’s HQ is in Mansfield.