Jimi Heselden: Segway tycoon leaves £340 million in will

Jimi Heselden.

Jimi Heselden.

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A businessman who died while apparently riding a Segway scooter built by his own company has left an estate of more than £340 million to his family.

Jimi Heselden, 62, was found in the River Wharfe at Boston Spa, near Wetherby, West Yorkshire, after accidentally plunging from a 30ft cliff in September last year.

His Segway was found nearby.

Today, it was revealed that Mr Heselden, who was one of the 400 richest people in the UK, had left an estate of £343,172,206 to his widow Julie and other family members.

The businessman made his fortune when his Leeds-based firm Hesco Bastion developed the revolutionary “blast wall” basket, which protect soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, as a replacement for traditional sandbags.

The units have been used to protect soldiers in every major conflict since the first Gulf War and are seen as one of the UK’s most successful defence exports.

They are also used for a range of non-military functions including flood management and erosion control.

In December 2009, Mr Heselden led a British team which bought the US-based Segway firm, which makes and distributes the distinctive two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters.

Former miner Mr Heselden, who left school when he was 15, was known as much for his charity giving as he was for his massive fortune.

The Leeds Community Foundation said he had donated £23 million to causes in his home city since 2008 and he was also closely linked to the Help For Heroes charity, which supports injured military personnel.

Today, a statement released on behalf of the trustees of Mr Heselden’s estate said: “It can be confirmed that Jimi left an estate of £343,172,206 which he has bequeathed to his widow Julie and other family members.

“The estate consists substantially of Jimi’s controlling interest in Hesco Bastion Ltd.

“The family wishes that Jimi’s legacy will live on in the many charities and good causes he supported during his lifetime.”

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