The role of Lavender Brown, Ron Weasley's girlfriend in the new Harry Potter film, has gone to an established actress, according to a source close to the film.

Around 7,000 young hopefuls auditioned in July for the role of Brown, who spends much of her time kissing fellow Hogwarts pupil Weasley in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The casting advertisement had stated no acting experience was necessary.

But the source said the part went to 20-year-old Jessie Cave, who has appeared with Helen Mirren in the film Inkheart and who is to star in the BBC's CBBC drama Summerhill, which goes out early next year.

Neither the producers nor Cave's agent, A&J Management, would comment. The full cast is due to be released shortly.

It is not known whether Cave attended the open auditions for the role or whether she auditioned separately.

But Cave got the thumbs-up from Rupert Grint, who plays Weasley.

He told CBBC's Newsround: I was involved with the Lavender Brown audition and the whole Lavender thing. Her name's Jessie and she is really cool and it's going to be really funny.

Co-star Emma Watson, who plays Weasley's friend Hermione Granger, added: She seems really sweet and perfect for the role of Lavender.

The casting is so good and I am looking forward to her scenes with Ron. I think it's going to be quite a comic film.

The film, the sixth based on the Harry Potter book series, is due to be released in November 2008.