The richest people in Sussex are back to doing what they do best after riding out the recession.

The fortunes of the wealthiest people in the county were severely dented as the economic crisis saw share prices plummet last year.

But, according to the annual rankings in the Sunday Times Rich List 2009 released yesterday, there has been a sharp upturn in personal wealth.

According to the breakdown of the UK’s richest residents, the county’s richest man, packaging tycoon Hans Rausing, is believed to be worth about £4 billion.

The Tetra Pak magnate, who lives in a country estate near Wadhurst and is ranked 11th nationally, suffered a 26% reduction in his wealth last year.

Following an upturn in the market, his personal wealth is believed to have remained the same.

Other Sussex rich men include Viscount Cowdray who lives near Midhurst on a 16,000-hectare site. He is worth an estimated £850 million – up from £500m last year and ranked 65th nationally.

Philip Beresford, who compiled the list, said: “The speed of recovery among the super-rich has been remarkable.

“Fortunes in Britain are soaring as the world recovers from the 2008-9 crash.

“Stock markets are up, the banks are back from the brink and economic confidence is blossoming.”

He added the 29.9% rise in collective wealth of the 1,000 multimillionaires featured was the biggest annual rise in the Rich Lists’ 22 years.

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who lives in Peasmarsh, near Rye, is worth about £475m – up £35m from last year.

Pop mogul Simon Fuller, who was raised in Sussex and produced television programme American Idol, is worth £350m; while Lady Annabel Goldsmith, who owns a property near Bognor, is the county’s richest woman with about £300m.

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who has a home in West Wittering, near Chichester, is worth £175m and placed 371 overall in the rich list.

X-Factor judge Simon Cowell, who was raised in Brighton, is worth £165m and Irina Abramovich received £155m in a 2007 divorce settlement form Russian oil oligarch Roman Abromovich which included the Fyning Hill estate in Rogate, near Midhurst.

Pop singer James Morrison, 25, who lives in Hove, was among the top 50 richest young people with a fortune of £5m.