48= (46=) Fred Pritchard £65m (£55m)

When a television programme dared to suggest that Cannock Chase was the 16th worst district in the country in which to live, Staffordshire developer Fred Pritchard was livid.

Not since Staffordshire was ranked worst county in the country by Country Life magazine five years ago had he been so incensed.

"I’m sick and tired of all these detractors who do down the area without knowing anything about it," he railed at the time. "A lot of people have worked very hard over the past few years to help revive the district and their effort deserves recognition."

One of those people is, of course, 65-year-old Fred Pritchard himself. He has pumped millions of pounds into the area to restore its flagging fortunes following the demise of the coal mining industry.

Towards the end of last year he revealed that £200 million worth of regeneration schemes in the Cannock Chase area were close to reality. His comments came after planning councillors gave the thumbs up to his plans for a shopping centre in Hednesford to be known as The Lightworks.

As well as specialist shops, the development will include apartments, offices, bars and restaurants.

In Cannock he is looking to develop an eight-screen cinema with bowling alley, restaurants, car parking, shopping and apartments.

In Rugeley, Pritchard Holdings plans to deliver another shopping complex at Wellington Plaza linked to the council’s regeneration plans for the town.

His plans go beyond the area surrounding Cannock Chase where he was born and bred. He plans to build a new £70 million mixed-use scheme on an 11-acre site on the outskirts of Wolverhampton near junction two of the M54, and he has approval for a £75 million apartment and office complex on the site of the former St George’s Hospital in Stafford.

Pritchard Holdings, and its sister company in the Pritchard Group, Chaseregen, own or control more than a million sq ft of industrial and commercial floorspace, most of it concentrated around Cannock. The group also includes Pritchard Construction and Pritchard & Associates - a design and property management company.

Fred Pritchard is chairman of the company he set up more than 35 years ago, though he is handing over the reins to his son Jonathan.

He takes a major role in the community, supporting projects, schools and charities, and ensuring the preservation and improvement of local canals. He is also a keen amateur historian and collector, golfer and shooter. He might be planning to retire, but he will never stop looking for ideas to improve the area to which he has devoted so much of his life.