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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK
Promenade to star in wartime film
Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley is set to star in the wartime film
A Teesside promenade is to be transformed into wartime Dunkirk for scenes in a Hollywood film starring Oscar-nominated Keira Knightley.

Council chiefs have signed a deal to allow Redcar's vintage promenade to be used in the 36m film version of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.

Work will begin later this month and the scenes will be filmed in August.

Redcar and Cleveland Council said the blockbuster, by Working Title Films, would boost the area's profile.

Atonement is an emotional tale that spans the 1930s and 40s and recalls the horrors of World War II.

The story focuses in part on a 13-year-old girl and her Cambridge-graduate older sister Cecilia - to be played by Knightley, who won acclaim for her role in Pride and Prejudice.

'Tourism trade'

It will also feature James McAvoy - the star of Channel 4's Shameless.

The stretch of promenade, from the town's Regent cinema to the boating lake, will become a no-go area to the public while the project is ongoing.

The Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, Coun Dave Fitzpatrick said: "The profile we'll get during filming will be fantastic.

"It's got to be good for the tourism trade, hotels, bars, restaurants, taxis and painters and decorators, for example, and the potential of the profile from a blockbuster movie is probably immeasurable."

Over the next few weeks work will begin building a bombed out house and bomb craters on the promenade.

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