Former Saga boss Roger De Haan is among nearly 40 people honoured in Kent in this year's New Year's Honours List.
It is for services to education and charity in Kent and overseas.
The benefactor has poured in million of pounds to regenerate his home town of Folkestone, as well as foreign aid projects.
Roger De Haan has been knighted in the New Year's Honours
He said: “I feel privileged to receive this honour and am proud of the impact now being achieved by many of the arts, education, health sport and community projects that I and my charitable trust supports.”
His latest achievement for Folkestone has been winning overwhelming council support for his multi-million pound plan to redevelop the town’s seafront and harbour area.
In July Shepway planning councillors voted 37-0 to approve the scheme to redevelop the 23 hectares with 1,000 homes, sea and beach sports centres, restaurants, shops and heritage areas.
Mr De Haan has for years been determined to revive Folkestone, where he has lived since childhood, fearing that it had lost its way over recent decades.
In 2006 he lamented that the seafront he had loved had become
“desolate and grubby.”
Mr De Haan, 65, has regularly appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List and in last April’s list, was said to have a combined fortune of £800 million with his brother Peter. They were placed at joint 110th.
Roger de Haan's plans aim to develop Folkestone Harbour and the Rotunda area
Through the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust they have invested substatial sums in Folkestone, also including the Creative Quarter, the Seven Hills Sports Ground and various education and regeneration projects.
Also rewarded is Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, who becomes a CBE.
He has led the authority since October 2005, after being elected to KCC in 1997.
Before taking on the leadership role, he held responsibility for the education portfolio.
In September 2008, Mr Carter was elected Chairman of the South East England
Regional Assembly (SEERA) which has since been replaced with a new
organisation, South East England Councils (SEEC), set up to champion
quality of life in the South East.
He also still runs a number of property, construction and retail businesses, and is married with three grown-up children.
He regularly competes in motor sport, particularly in pre-war sports car racing, rallying and trialling.
Mr Carter didn't want to speak ahead of the announcement.
Kent County Council leader Paul Carter
Former Serious Organised Crime Agency boss Trevor Pearce has been awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours for his service to law enforcement.
Mr Pearce, from Gravesend, is now a director of the newly formed National Crime Agency.
He started his career with the police in Kent in 1975. He served mainly as a detective but covered specialist roles within the drug squad, special branch, complaints investigation and the specialist crime department.
In 1998 he was seconded to the National Crime Squad and in September 2004 he became Director General.
In February 2005, Mr Pearce was appointed executive director of the UK’s new Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and in 2006 he took up his appointment as executive director enforcement. He oversaw services including counter corruption, anti-kidnap and extortion, and firearms.
He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mr Pearce led on developing new operational practice for tackling serious and organised crime and investigative development. He was then appointed director general of SOCA in 2010.
Meanwhile, a village rallied round to ensure a grandmother with a passion for doing good deeds got the Royal recognition she deserved.
Most people in their seventies think about taking things easy, but not Barbara Bradley.
The 72-year-old, of Forge Lane, Horton Kirby, Dartford, has lived in the village for 49 years and in that time has taken on a number of roles in the community.
This week she was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours List in recognition of that work.
Mrs Bradley admitted she was overcome by the news and there were a few tears when she received her notification letter.
Heavily involved in charity work, she is treasurer for EllenorLions Hospices in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, as well as a charter member for Darent Valley Lions, part of the Lions International organisation.
She also serves as treasurer for the local Women’s Institute and has been involved with 1st Horton Kirby Scouts for more than 40 years.
Barbara Bradley with husband Peter
She even lends a hand to running the village pantomime, working as a producer.
Mrs Bradley has, in the past, played a role in the production itself – her personal favourite being ‘Polly on the Trolley’, the panto dame in a production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Mrs Bradley said she thought news of her honour was too good to be true.
She said: “I thought it was a joke. My husband said there was an official letter for me and it was from the Home Office saying the Prime Minister had approved the award and it was going before the Queen.
“It turned out my daughter instigated it and she had gone around the community asking people to write letters and support the application. She sent the letters out with all the nominations.”
The New Year honours list saw double delight for sisters Mary Berg and Sara Mogel both recognised with awards for educational work in Canterbury.
Mary, 66, received an MBE for services to education, heritage and charity after serving on various committees across the city while Sara, 59, was awarded an OBE for services to vocational education.
Mary Berg receives an MBE in the New Year honours list
Mary arrived in Canterbury in 1995 after a career as an economist and studied medieval archaeology at Canterbury Christ Church University before a masters in medieval and Tudor studies at the University of Kent.
She also served as a governor for The King’s School, sat on the Kent and Canterbury Hospital research ethics committee and chairs an east Kent charity New Moves which promotes dance and music for people with learning disabilities.
Mary, of Orange Street, Canterbury, also serves as vice chairman of the St John Home in Whitstable and has been involved in fundraising for several projects, including the rebuilding of the St Gregory’s music centre at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Her sister Sara studied economic and social history at the University of Kent before qualifying as a teacher at Christ Church.
Later she became a further education inspector and retired after 12 years a principal of a college in Cheshire.
She has moved with her family to north Wales.
A headteacher of a Westerham school has been awarded.
Roland Gooding, 59, has been the headteacher at Valence School since 1992 and has now been honoured for his services to education.
The school offers learning opportunities and care to children and young people who have physical disabilities and complex medical needs. The school has caters for day and residential students.
"I was extremely surprised, touched, grateful, but I can think of many, many other people far more worthy to receive an honour than me," Mr Gooding said.
"Whatever I have done in special education, or education more widely, pale's into insignificance to the kind of achievements of our young people here who face enormous barriers to learning and to living every single day.
Those honoured should receive their awards over the next few months
"Many of us would give up in the face of those barriers, but they press on and as a result they live very fulfilled lives and they achieve very well."
Also honoured was world-famous DJ Pete Tong, who started his career playing the clubs of Gravesham.
The BBC Radio 1 DJ, who grew up in Manor Drive, Hartley, was made an MBE for services to broadcasting and music.
Mr Tong is a world-renowned dance DJ and has been in the industry for more than 30 years.
A former pupil of King’s School in Rochester, he first made his name playing soul music in various venues around Gravesend and other parts of Kent in the early 1980s.
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Tong said the award meant a lot to his family.
He said: “It’s pretty surreal. I thought someone was joking when I first got the phone call and then it just sunk in, it’s an amazing thing. I’m very happy and proud for my mum really and what it means to her.
“I had to look up what it meant. You kind of assume you know but I had to read the detail of what it meant, extraordinary service and everything.”
This year's list is particularly wide-reaching, with everyone from a fruit and vegetable farmer and and a vet to a folk festival organiser honoured.
Among those awarded are Janet Tootal, who organises the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust; Elizabeth Tullberg, for services to the community of Swale, and Martin Coyd, of Gillingham, for services to rugby league.
The new year's honours list for Kent in full
Roger Michael De Haan, CBE, DL. Philanthropist. For services to Education and to charity in Kent and Overseas. (Ashford, Kent)
John James Pullinger. Librarian and director general, Information Services, House of Commons. For services to Parliament and voluntary service to the community through Great Culverden Park Ltd. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
Nicholas John Lucas Chance, LVO, JP. Private secretary to Prince Michael of Kent.
Stephen Joseph Towers. Chauffeur to The Duke of Kent.
Councillor Paul Benedict Crossland Carter. Leader, Kent County Council. For services to Local Government. (Maidstone, Kent)
Haydn Evans. Headteacher, Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat Church of England Secondary School, Tower Hamlets, London. For services to Education. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
Jeffrey Thomas Robert Mitchell. Formerly head of Common Law Claims and Policy, Ministry of Defence. For services to Defence. (Rainham, Kent)
Professor David Bradley Morton. Veterinarian. For services to the UK and International Veterinary Profession especially Animal Welfare and Ethics. (Romney Marsh, Kent)
Trevor William Pearce, QPM. Formerly director general, Serious and Organised Crime Agency. For services to Law Enforcement. (Gravesend, Kent)
John Edward Kitson Smith. Formerly Chair, Student Loans Company and Pro-Chancellor and Chair, University of Birmingham. For services to Higher Education. (Westerham, Kent)
Martin Stevens Coyd. For services to Rugby League. (Gillingham, Kent)
John Arthur Fassenfelt, JP. Formerly chairman, Magistrates' Association. For services to the Administration of Justice and the community. (Borden, Kent)
Dr Amelia Fletcher. Formerly chief Economist, Office of Fair Trading. For services to Competition and Consumer Economics. (Cranbrook, Kent)
Roland John Gooding. Headteacher, Valence School, Westerham, Kent. For services to Education. (Westerham, Kent)
Terrence Anthony Riley. Chief executive, British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust and Chair, British Deaf Association. For services to Broadcasting and Deaf People. (Ashford, Kent)
Ms Anissa Toscano. Consultant, Department for International Development. For Humanitarian services particularly in Syria. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
Mrs Mary Berg. For voluntary services to Education, Heritage and charity in Canterbury, Kent. (Canterbury, Kent)
Miss Alice Sophia Boxall. For voluntary and charitable services to Heritage in Kent. (Greatstone, Kent)
Thomas Alan Burch. Farrier. For services to Horse Welfare in the UK and Overseas. (Ashford, Kent)
Edward David Chantler. Chair, Kent Branch, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. For services to Farming and Rural Communities in Kent. (Maidstone, Kent)
Warwick John Seymer Hawkins. Grade 7, Faith and Participation Team, Department for Communities and Local Government. For services to Interfaith Relations. (Folkestone, Kent)
Anthony Edward Kemp. Vice-chairman, British Association for Immediate Care. For services to Pre-hospital Emergency Care. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
Carl Christiaan Meewezen. Deputy director, Management Information, Cabinet Office. For services to Government Efficiency. (Cranbrook, Kent)
Michael Andrew Murphy. For services to Business and Digital Media. (Knockholt, Kent)
Mrs Marion Regan. Owner, Hugh Lowe Farms. For services to the Fruit and Vegetable Industry. (Maidstone, Kent)
Councillor John David Simmonds. Member, Kent County Council. For services to Local Government. (Whitstable, Kent)
Eric Robert Stokes. For services to Lifesaving and Lifeguarding in Kent. (Dover, Kent)
Mrs Elizabeth Rose Tullberg, DL. For services to the community in Swale, Kent. (Faversham, Kent)
Mrs Lesley Susan Watling. For public service. (Kent)
Mrs Janet Berlin. NSPCC Branch chairman, Bromley, Kent. For services to Vulnerable Children and to the community in Bromley. (London)
Mrs Barbara Ann Bradley. For services to the community in Horton Kirby, Kent. (Dartford, Kent)
Alan Castle. Founder, Tenterden Folk Festival. For services to Music and Heritage. (Ashford, Kent)
Ms Ann Donnarumma. Volunteer in Child Protection and Cruse Bereavement Care, Bromley, Kent. For services to Children and Families in Kent. (London)
Michael Frederick Dunning. Chairman and Trustee, Brunswick Youth Club, Fulham. For services to Young People. (Whitstable, Kent)
Mrs Michele Jones. Field Officer, Integrated Youth Services, Kent County Council. For services to Young People in Kent. (St Marys Bay, Kent)
Andrew Harold Osborne. Chair, Faversham Municipal Charities, Kent. For services to Almshouse Sheltered Accommodation. (Faversham, Kent)
Mrs Jenny Salter. Volunteer, Green Street Green Primary School, Orpington, Kent. For services to Education. (London)
Mrs Dorothy May Smytherman. For services to the community in Wadhurst, East Sussex particularly to the Bedgebury National Pinetum Forest in Kent. (Wadhurst, East Sussex)
Mrs Janet Ann Tootal. Event Organiser, Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. For services to Battle of Britain Veterans. (West Malling, Kent)