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East Anglian chocolate businessmen set to make millions from sell-off

Hotel Chocolat is set to float on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Credit: ITV News Anglia

Its name hinted at origins in a Parisian back street but Hotel Chocolat actually began life in Royston in Hertfordshire and has become an international success with shops in many of our towns and cities.

The company now boasts revenues of £81 million a year and when it is floated on the stock market its founders stand to make a fortune.

Huntingdon-based company Hotel Chocolat will be floated on the stock market raising capital to fund expansion of the business.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson

Hotel Chocolat founders in line to bag £20 million each

Hotel Chocolat was founded in 1993. Credit: Hotel Chocolat

The founders of Cambridgeshire's Hotel Chocolat are expected to make £20 million each when they float the company later this year.

The luxury chocolate maker, which has 84 shops and cafes across the UK, has its manufacturing plant in Huntingdon.

It's thought to be valued at £150 million.

Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris founded the business in 1993.

They believe the move will help fuel plans to roll out more stores, bolster manufacturing capacity at its Huntingdon-based plant and overhaul its website.

We are very excited at the prospect of listing as it is the next logical step in our growth plans and will enable us to accelerate the many initiatives that we have in place, in particular additional investment in our British chocolate manufacturing, in new stores and in our digital offering.

– Angus Thirlwell, Hotel Chocolat co-founder


Hybrid airship nears completion

A crane lifts the fin from the hangar floor Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles

A giant hybrid airship which is being built in Bedfordshire has taken a step closer to completion.

A fin has been lifted into place and attached to the hull of the Airlander which is being built in a hangar at Cardington.

Engineers attach a fin to the Airlander Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles

Other fins and the engines will be fitted in the coming weeks.

The Airlander is said to be the largest aircraft in the world and is designed to remain in the air for weeks at a time.

Wedding business to rise from the ashes after £250,000 of vintage cars destroyed in fire

The owners of a wedding car company say they're determined to re-build their lives after their home and business were destroyed in a garage fire.

12 vintage and classic cars, including Rolls Royces and Bentleys, were burnt out after a fire at the Classic Wedding Cars company in Thorney near Peterborough.

It's left up to 200 wedding couples looking for other ways of getting to the church on time.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

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