Wizards and big-screen wizardry will be returning to Alnwick when its historic castle will set the scene for the eagerly awaited second Harry Potter movie.
Alnwick Castle, ancestral home to the Duke of Northumberland, will again be doubling as Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, following its most recent screen outing in the Christmas smash hit Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Production company Warner Bros confirmed yesterday that filming is to begin in the middle of March.
Pupils from the Alnwick's schools have already been invited to audition for what may be some speaking parts alongside acting star Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the boy wizard.
And with the Philosopher's Stone going on general video release in the next month, firms in the town are expecting to conjure up some magical business opportunities from an expected rush of spell-bound visitors.
The Duke's spokesman, Philip Gregory, said there was now a great sense of excitement around Alnwick and its young actors starring in what is likely to be yet another box-office blockbuster.
"Children have been asked to come forward for auditions, and from the castle's point of view this will undoubtedly be another huge coup for the whole town," he said.
"It comes at the start of the tourist season, whereas the last film came just as things were winding down.
"The Philosopher's Stone generated massive interest in Alnwick, and the castle saw a significant increase in visitor figures.
"The filming of the new movie can only add to the interest already generated by the success of the last one, and we certainly look forward to Alnwick becoming a major Harry Potter visitor attraction."
A spokeswoman for Warner Bros said the firm was delighted to be returning to the area, but was keen to keep the filming low key to avoid compromising production.
But she added that once again some big names would be on the cast list, including Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Dame Maggie Smith and, making his Harry Potter debut, Kenneth Branagh.
"The lead roles will be the same as in the first film, with Daniel playing Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron and Emma Watson as Hermione, but we don't want to give too much away at the moment," she said.
"We are, however, delighted to help out wherever we can and return to a place like North Northumberland, which has been badly hit economically over the past year." Businesses in Alnwick, meanwhile, were equally thrilled by the news.
"This is absolutely super for the town, and it can only be fantastic for the local economy," said Mary Manley, who runs the Barter Books bookstore in what was Alnwick Railway Station, which is itself a major tourist attraction.
"There has already been quite a bit of feedback from the first movie, including some relatives in St Louis, Missouri, sending me a newspaper clipping about Harry Potter and Alnwick Castle.
"It was quite amazing to see that the town's fame had spread as far as America.
"I only hope we can get Alan Rickman into the bookshop."