WORCESTER'S new groundbreaking cinema was given the celebrity treatment with film star Jenny Agutter opening the complex.

The star of the 1970s adaptation of The Railway Children and American Werewolf in London officially opened the six-screen complex - the first to be built in a British city.

The actress joined city Mayor, Mary Drinkwater, to launch the new Warner Brothers complex in Friar Street yesterday, which has created 50 new jobs and is expected to attract 500,000 visitors a year.

"It is very exciting to have these facilities in the city centre and not somewhere you are going to have to drive to," said the actress.

Melvyn Angell, Managing Director of Warner Village Cinemas said the cinema - built to fit in with surrounding architecture - marked the first location in the next phase of multiplex developments in the UK.

"This has been designed specifically to be part of an urban regeneration programme," he said.

"This new cinema complex will help bring people into the heart of the community to work, shop and enjoy themselves.

Worcester Mayor, Mary Drinkwater, said she was delighted to be opening the cinema which she dubbed "very impressive."

"Anything which brings in more trade to the city is good, and I am pleased Worcester has been chosen to build the first of its kind in the UK."

The event, which also included a preview of the blockbuster Bedazzled, starring Elizabeth Hurley - also helped disadvantaged children in Worcester after Miss Agutter donated her appearance fee to the charity NCH Action for Children.

The national charity supports the Warndon Family Centre, which provides a wide range of services to families with young children in the area and helps with communication difficulties.

Charity manager Richard White said he was delighted the celebrity - who has been vice chairman of the charity for four years - had supported the cause again.