Cumbrian retail tycoon Philip Day has been named the eighth richest person in the North West with a fortune of £1.2 billion in The Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Day, the billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), was listed joint eighth in the list for the region, which will appear in a 156-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine this weekend.

His £1.2bn wealth is unchanged from the previous year, when Mr Day finished seventh having seen his fortune grow by £50 million.

Mr Day has had a busy 12 months, which included the opening of EWM’s new multi-million-pound headquarters in Carlisle. So far 40 new roles have been created at the offices following the move from Langholm, with a longer-term target of creating 300 jobs.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group includes more than 1,000 stores and concessions employing 24,000 around the world – with Carlisle now firmly at the centre of activity.

He has also been investing heavily in Jaeger in 2017, which was bought in 2017, with a plan to triple its number of high street shops across the UK.

And he also bought a controlling shareholding in women’s retailer Bonmarche, with plans to turnaround its fortunes after missing forecasts by £12m. Mr Day has am ambition to acquire the rest of the business and taking it private, a spokesman told in-Cumbria.

However, things did not all go Mr Day’s way. He lost out to fellow retail giant Mike Ashley, owner of the Sports Direct empire, in the battle to buy House of Fraser, after it entered administration.

Mr Ashley won the race with a £90m offer for the company, salvaging a number of at risk stores, including Carlisle.

It is understood that Mr Day's proposal was in excess of £100m, would have avoided an administration and included House of Fraser's pension scheme.

However, accountancy giant EY, which was overseeing the sale, opted for Mr Ashley's offer.

Dubai-based Mr Day, who has an estate in Brampton and financial links to Carlisle United, was unavailable for comment.

But Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said the high placing for Mr Day illustrated “that there is still money to be made from conventional retail”.

Mr Day is renowned for turning around the fortunes of failed retailers and reenergising them – an approach that continues despite the challenging conditions in the sector, which has seen several major players go bust.

While significant, he was some way off competing with number one on The Sunday Times Rich List

That honour went to The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, who boast a fortune of £10.1bn, up £136m on the previous year.

At 28-years-old, the Duke, is also the youngest billionaire in the UK. The Grosvenor family seat is at Eaton Hall, near Chester

Other well-known names to feature include Peter Jones, of Dragon’s Den fame, who has become a billionaire after seeing his wealth increase by £100m in the last year.

Mr Jones lies in twelfth, one place above Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell, who saw their fortune drop by £70m since 2018 to £750m.

Altogether, the top 20 richest people in the North West have a collective fortune of £32.22bn, up 1.7 per cent on last year.