CUMBRIAN retail tycoon Philip Day has been named the eighth richest person in the north west, with a fortune of £1.2bn 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.

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

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, 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 this year, with plans to turnaround its after missing forecasts by £12m, before ultimately hoping to acquire the rest of the business and take it private.

However, Mr Day - who was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Cumberland News - did lose out to fellow retail giant Mike Ashley, head of the Sports Direct empire, in the battle to take over House of Fraser

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”.

The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family came out top in the north west, with a fortune of £10.1bn, up £136m on the previous year.