Tributes pour in for Leeds' Jimi Heselden
"Jimi's passion for the city and particularly East Leeds, was infectious" - Deputy leader of Leeds Conservatives John Procter
Tributes have today poured in following the death of a Leeds multi-millionaire renowned for donating more than £20 million to charity.
Jimi Heselden, 62, rode one of his company's motorised scooters off a cliff and into the river Wharfe at his estate in Thorp Arch yesterday. More details about his death can be found at BBC Leeds here and the YEP here. Martin Wainwright has also written a piece for The Guardian.
Heselden, who grew up in Halton Moor, was in the top 400 richest people in the country and was a big supporter of the Leeds Community Foundation and Help The Heroes.
Chief executive of Leeds city council Tom Riordan said:
"We are all devastated and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Jimi Heselden OBE. Jimi was an amazing man who apart from being a wonderful success story for Leeds due to his business acumen was also remarkably selfless and generous giving millions to local charities to help people in his home city.
"As a council we enjoyed great success with Jimi and HESCO Bastion working together with them to achieve a historic gold medal for the city at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and everyone who knew him will remember his quiet manner, good nature, and tremendous pride in being from Leeds. He will be hugely missed and at this awful time our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Councillor John Procter, deputy leader of Leeds Conservative group said:
"Having worked closely with Jimi over a number of years on the Chelsea Garden project, I got to know him well. Jimi was simply a fantastic man. Both genuine and honest in equal measure, Jimi's passion for the city and particularly East Leeds, was infectious.
"Jimi's experiences growing up in Halton Moor and working as a miner shaped him. He never forgot where he had come from and dedicated his time, energy and wealth into helping those less fortunate than himself through the Leeds Community Foundation.
"Jimi's passing is a massive loss to the city but his legacy as one of the country's most generous philanthropists is a fitting tribute to such a big hearted man."
A statement from HESCO Bastion Ltd read:
"It is with great sadness that we have to confirm that Jimi Heselden OBE, has died in a tragic accident near his home in West Yorkshire.
"Jimi Heselden, 62, was Chairman of Hesco Bastion Ltd, the world-leading manufacturer of protective barriers used to protect British and coalition troops around the world.
"Jimi is perhaps best known for his charity work with Help for Heroes and the Leeds Community Foundation. A £10m gift to the Foundation earlier this month saw his lifetime charitable donations top £23m.
"Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends, who have asked for privacy at this time."
Suicide by Segway?
I mean it's quite easy to avoid walking off a cliff.
Beware other Segway riders of this happening!