A NEW festival is heading to Whitby which promises to be a feast for the eyes as well as the taste-buds.

The Fish and Ships Festival will celebrate the town’s sea-faring heritage with a host of events and attractions running throughout the weekend of May 18.

Two of Yorkshire’s leading artists - internationally-celebrated sculptor Emma Stothard and Wallace and Gromit animator Virpi Kettu – will be joining in the festivities.

Events will include live cooking and fish-craft demonstrations, street entertainment, live music and a grand firework finale.

Janet Deacon, of Scarborough Borough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Whitby has an extraordinary maritime heritage, but sea-faring is still a way of life here as it has been for centuries.

“From boat-building to Britain’s finest fish restaurants, sea-faring is in our hearts and souls, and this is what artists, both young and older, will be capturing during Whitby’s Fish and Ships Festival.

"The festival’s not just a celebration of the past - artists will also be recreating the town’s relationship with the sea today."

Artist Ms Stothard - whose sculptures are in demand across the globe, appearing in gardens and galleries from Highgrove to the Chelsea Flower Show – will create a new wire sculpture especially for the festival weekend.

She said: “For my new work, ‘A Whitby Fisher Lass’, I wanted to pay tribute to the women of Whitby’s fishing families, whose story may not be as well known.

“As a local lass myself, it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the fisher lasses - and overawed by the back-breaking work they did alongside the men to support local industry."

Meanwhile, film animator Ms Kettu will share her skills during drop-in workshops on May 18 where families will be able to create underwater aqua-worlds in the famous Aardman modelling style.