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Celebrity chef signs franchise deal

Chef and TV personality Marco Pierre White has agreed a franchise deal that will see around 50 of his restaurants rolled out across the UK over the next five years.

He has teamed up with hotel development company Sanguine Hospitality to expand his Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill and Marco's New York Italian eateries.

The first restaurant to open as part of the deal will be one of the New York Italian concepts, in InterContinental Hotel's planned boutique Hotel Indigo in the centre of Manchester, which is due to open at the end of next year.

A further two Indigo hotels featuring the chef's restaurants are being planned for Cardiff and London.

It follows the success of his Steakhouse restaurants in three recently opened Hotel Indigo sites in Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle.

The star of reality cookery show Hell's Kitchen is credited with having helped kick-start the careers of fellow chefs Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal, both of whom trained under him.

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