Newmarket logistics entrepreneur makes top 100 list

Victoria Beckham in her first new store in Dover Street, central London.

Victoria Beckham in her first new store in Dover Street, central London. - Credit: PA

A Suffolk logistics boss features in a list of Britain’s top entrepreneurs topped by Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham.

According to business magazine Management Today, Paul Day, who runs haulage and warehousing group Turners (Soham), which is based at Fordham Road, Newmarket, is worth £205million, placing him at number 70 in its list of 100 foremost British entrepreneurs.

The former national table tennis champion, aged 56, is the grandson of Wallace Turner, who founded the company in 1930 with brother, Frank.

Last year, the firm made £22.7m profit on £242.1m sales. It employs around 2,390 staff, operates around 1,000 vehicles and 1400 trailers, and has seen a 34% rise in employment.

The head office site at Newmarket extends to 40 acres, which includes 500,000sq ft of temperature controlled storage for 80,000 pallets, a division of the refrigerated transport fleet and PPL, its fruit grading and packing operations. Phase six of its site development was completed in November 2009.

In 2010, the firm purchased Dart Distribution, a container haulier with 43 vehicles and depots in Felixstowe, Birmingham, Daventry, Leeds and Teesport.

Essex-born Mrs Beckham, aged 40, who took the top spot in the list, shot to fame as Posh Spice and later became the world’s most famous WAG by marrying footballer David Beckham. She beat heavyweights such as inventor Sir James Dyson to lead a list.

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She opened her first fashion boutique in London’s Mayfair in September and her Victoria Beckham brand has seen revenue grow by 2,900% in five years from a turnover of £1m to £30m this year, the magazine said.

Two other fashion retailers made it into the top 10 - including Mahmud Kamani, of, was third, and Julian Dukerton, of Supergroup, home of the Superdry brand, fourth.

Technology entrepreneurs also had strong representation, with Denise Coates, of online bookmaker Bet365, in sixth place, John Roberts, founder of kitchen appliance specialist AO World, seventh, Peter Kelly, of IT firm Softcat, eighth, and Philip Doyle, from Kelway IT services, ninth.

Making up the rest of the top 10 were Amit and Meeta Patel, of pharmaceutical firm Auden Mckenzie, in second place, Roy MacGregor, of Global Energy, fifth, and Jonathan Ruffer, of Ruffer Investment Manager, 10th.

Also making the list from this region in 22nd place was genetics entrepreneur Dr Jonathan Milner, of Cambridge-based Abcam, who was said to be worth £130m.

Oil and gas entrepreneur Richard Higham, of Norwich-based Acteon, who was reported to be worth £300m, was 52nd.

In 68th place was offshore services entrepreneur Gregory Darling of Great Yarmouth-based Gardline, who was said to be worth 205m. Gardline Shipping was founded in 1969 by Gregory’s late father George, who sold his scrapyard and forklift truck business to become the part-owner of a ship which cashed in on the survey market created by the North Sea’s burgeoning oil and gas industry.

The list was compiled using data on rankings in areas such as wealth, turnover and employment.